Experts Discuss Bearing Isolators in Podcast
Bearing failure and prevention are hot topics among industry professionals. In a recent Rooted in Reliability podcast, Chris Tindell, SEPCO’s regional business manager, and Woody Nepa, an engineer for product development and reliability solutions for SEPCO, set out to educate listeners on the benefits of bearing isolators. During the podcast, James Kovacevic, an educator with Erudtio, interviewed the duo. Kovacevic is the long-time host of the Rooted in Reliability podcasts.
Machine operating conditions are one major cause of bearing failure. This is why bearing isolators are used to separate the bearing from its external environment. A seal is what keeps the bearing and the oil free from contamination. It also keeps the lubrication from leaking where it shouldn’t.
Bearing isolators and asset health
Several different types of bearing isolators are available, but the two primary categories are:
- Contacting, or mechanical, seals, which have been used for rotating equipment
- Noncontacting seals, which are used for dynamic purposes and consistent performance
Also, Tindell and Nepa mention that the use of a pure lubricant at the right time is crucial. This is because it directly effects asset health.
“You have to make sure that the samples that you are taking have consistent viscosity and other variables aren’t changing. It helps determine the condition of the oil. You can change it just at the right time before it results in a bearing failure. So, all these efforts are being made to keep the oil clean. It is worth it if you are achieving your goals for the equipment in your facilities.”
Determine Functioning Failure
Last, but certainly not least, the duo discuss why it’s vital to determine a functioning failure when using a shaft seal because the failure will only occur when the seal is no longer working.
“Seals are just a small device that helps you improve your reliability program. For these to really work and provide you real-time value, your baselines need to be good. If you are not doing everything else right that needs to be done. [Otherwise], investing in bearing isolators would be a waste of time and money.”