New UPS Superhub rolls smoothly with ABB Dodge® bearings

In 2018, UPS, the global logistics giant, opened its new 27,000 m2 Superhub in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. ABB was selected as preferred supplier for the bearings that ensure the smooth and reliable operation of more than 1,200 conveyor belts at the heart of the facility.

The Eindhoven site is one of Europe’s largest logistic facilities, with advanced technology that can sort up to 29,000 packages per hour, and room to expand to more than 40,000. It has more than 160 loading and unloading bays, nearly 160 parking positions for delivery trucks and is equipped with automated package sorting technology.

The facility relies on over 1,200 bulk conveyors installed by Vanderlande, the global materials handling systems supplier. Powered by approximately 3,000 electric motors, the conveyors run at speeds of 2.5 meters per second, round the clock, every day of the year. Each conveyor belt is equipped with at least 10 bearings. UPS demands maximum availability and smooth operational performance, so ABB’s Dodge® line of mounted bearings were the natural choice. To ensure a tightly managed spare parts inventory, a maximum of 10 bearing variants were selected - including square flange, fixed and floated bearings. 

Cost-effective system, with the highest available performance

To meet the UPS specifications, Vanderlande had to redesign its conveyor equipment to incorporate metric shaft dimensions within compact housings.

“We worked with Vanderlande to discuss the options for converting a US design to European production practices.” Said  Leon Benne, Product Manager: Mechanical Power Transmission Products at ABB Netherlands. “Together, we were able to develop an optimal solution that ensures maximum reliability and helps to decrease downtime.” 

Parts standardization and management

Parts standardization contributes to improving operational readiness and reducing life cycle costs for the Superhub, as Marcos Bartolini, UPS maintenance supervisor, explains: “Standardization helps us to have the right spare parts available immediately. And replacements can be carried out quickly due to the patented clamp mounting construction on all Dodge bearings. The unique adapter mount prevents damage to the shaft after disassembly of the bearing, and new bearings can be installed instantly. The bearings have really exceeded our expectations.”

With the Eindhoven facility, more than 4000 Dodge mounted bearings are in use at UPS facilities in Paris, Barcelona and the UK. The success of the conveyor project has also led to the implementation of the Dodge Grip Tight solution in several ball bearing replacements.  


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