Industrial equipment supplier Bearings 2000 has been appointed as an ABB authorised value provider for Dodge mounted bearings, gearboxes and power transmission products.
The company has further achieved ‘technical distributor’ status having met the stringent requirements in terms of know-how, local inventory holding, and 24-hour sales, service and technical support for Dodge.
“It will take a semiskilled artisan less than 15 minutes to install or remove a Dodge bearing, with no special tools or bearing pullers required,” says Dodge specialist Tony Patten, adding that this significantly decreases downtime for operations.
He points out that Dodge bearings are generally expected to last five times longer than conventional bearings used in the same conditions, “because there are fewer mistakes made in fitting shaft-ready bearings that have been assembled and sealed under clean conditions within the US [Dodge] factories, and because they are so easy to lubricate in service without any risk of overgreasing or allowing the ingress of contaminants”.
Bearings 2000 sales director Michael Stamatiadis explains that regreasing conventional housed bearings requires them being opened to remove the old grease. Subsequently, production has to be stopped, resulting in downtime and exposure of the bearings to the elements and windborne contaminants, such as dust and grit, which impact unfavourably on performance and life expectancy.
Patten emphasises that conventional bearings, unlike Dodge, require a high level of skill if they are to be mounted correctly.
“When the pressure is on to get a conveyor or some piece of equipment up and running again you start to cut corners. “This means that bearings are not assembled optimally and they are exposed to the elements . . . Dodge bearings are assembled in clean conditions and they arrive sealed and shaft ready,” he explains.
Dodge has concentrated significantly on the sealing arrangement of their bearings to keep dirt out and avoid overgreasing, Patten adds. Overgreasing can cause churning and heat build-up within conventional bearings, he explains, noting that Dodge’s patented seals allow excess grease to automatically purge and do not require any disassembly to be filled with new grease.
“We encourage greasing the bearings as often as you like . . . pump in new grease until the colour changes, then you know you’ve got a complete refill of grease and that the old grease has been purged. “We also recommend that customers grease their bearings while they are running to ensure proper dispersion of lubricant throughout the bearing,” Patten explains.
In addition to extensive Dodge stocks held by ABB in South Africa, Bearings 2000 stocks a full range of Dodge products to ensure customers’ downtime is kept to a minimum. Bearings 2000 can supply Dodge bearings up to 380 mm bore and a range of specialised power transmission products for most industries, including the food and beverage industry.
“We recently encountered a challenging application in the power generation industry where the end-user was trying to overcome a number of complications by changing shaft designs and running bearings in tandem. We worked with the US to tweak standard Dodge bearings to operate in this hot slurry environment where they have performed well without any need for modified shafts or tandem bearings,” Patten remarks with reference to the company’s link with Dodge.
“Our biggest opportunity for bearings in South Africa is to replace existing bearings. There are millions of conventional bearings in operation and Dodge has dimensionally identical drop-in replacements for most of them,” he says.
In addition to Dodge specialised products, Bearings 2000’s product range and distributions include FAG and INA premium bearings, NIS economical bearings, Synergy brand power transmission components and top Korean-quality DRB-Dongil V-Belts.
Stamatiadis concludes that Bearings 2000 is a leading independent supplier of bearings in South Africa, with several branches and distributors across the country.