VESCONITE wear-resistant sleeve bearing replacements have been fitted as standard components in a range of Powerstart hydraulic and turbine starter motors, with some 550 of these motors in the field at the end of May 2021.
These plain bearings replaced internal and external needle-roller bearings, which are a special type of roller bearing with thin needle-like rollers.
“The external needle-roller bearing could not be sealed completely, so there was ingress of dirt that caused the bearing to seize up,” said Powerworks Manufacturing Manager Philip van den Hoeck.
“If clients continued to use the motor with the affected bearing, they sometimes had to replace the bearing, the shaft and even the whole cone head.”
With wear-resistant Vesconite replacing the problematic external needle-roller bearing as well as the internal needle-roller bearing, there was virtually no wear. Replacement of the shaft and nose cone was eliminated, and they had an overall longer-lasting bearing.
“We are providing a better product to the customer and have no comebacks related to the bearings,” said Van den Hoeck. “It puts our product one step further in front of our competition.”
Besides the cost saving to the customer thanks to the longer-life bearings and protection of the shaft and nose cone by the Vesconite replacement bushings, Vesconite also offers savings to the manufacturer.
“We had a 10% saving on the bearing components.”
Since the bearings are critical components, Vesconite went through 18 months of in-house and field testing. After testing, the clearances were still within manufacturing tolerances.
“The bearings stayed in spec. It is a great product,” said Van den Hoeck, adding that the bearings that are used in motors destined for mining, marine and general applications.