Horizon Milling’s Albany mill produces around 1.04 million kg of flour per day. At the heart of the grinding process are the roll stands, where wheat grain is ground between pairs of hardened steel rollers. Several stages of sifting and milling are needed to get the flour to the desired consistency.
Over the years the company tried different types of bearings in the roll stands, but none provided the required reliability. Open-style roller bearings, for example, often failed prematurely because they had to be hand-packed with grease and contamination of the grease in the dusty mill environment was unavoidable. In a typical month two or three bearings would fail, seizing up on the roll and then proving very difficult to remove. Replacing failed bearings was a costly and time-consuming task.
The local branch of Motion Industries, an ABB distributor, suggested testing Dodge® IMPERIALTM bearings in the application. They turned out to be very successful, and in the following four years the mill installed more than 400 IMPERIAL bearings.
IMPERIAL bearings are pre-assembled and lubricated at the factory, avoiding contamination issues, and they feature a sealing system that keeps dust out. These factors mean a long bearing lifetime.
In addition, IMPERIAL bearings are easy to remove from the shaft and this has resulted in significant savings in maintenance time and costs. The steel rolls have to be refurbished at regular intervals, and the bearings need to be removed to get the rolls out. The previous roller bearings were so difficult to remove that maintenance staff often had to cut or break them, which meant that around 16 bearings were being scrapped each month.
IMPERIAL bearings come off the shaft easily so they can be re-used several times. They generally last at least four years, compared to about a year and a half for the previous bearings. Motion Industries calculated that after switching to Dodge bearings the mill saved $240,000 in the first three years alone.
Dodge® IMPERIAL™ bearings
- Factory assembled and pre-lubricated – avoids contamination during installation
- Sealing system keeps dust out – ensures longer lifetime
- ‘Easy-on, easy-off’ solution – saves time during scheduled maintenance
- Easy removal from shaft – means bearings can be re-used