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Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6XL)

11/02/2020 - 13/02/2020

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Design and material innovation leads to new plastic bearings

Design and material innovation leads to new plastic bearings

Material handling is fundamental to a business’s success in manufacturing, processing and shipping products to market. Efficient systems maintain performance over time, keeping production moving and to ensure this, conveyor components need to be high quality. BNL’s integrated plastic bearing solutions feature in highly engineered products, from top of the range cars to innovative domestic appliances. As technology progresses, specifications become more complex and BNL continually innovates to meet customers’ changing needs.

BNL has recently completed a Knowledge Transfer Project (KTP) with Bradford University. The aim: expand temperature, impact and load capabilities for a new generation of bearings. And the benefits? Meeting increasingly complex specifications of key markets, including the Automotive market. The challenge was increasing the operational capabilities of BNL’s plastic bearings whilst maintaining the company’s signature offering of integration, cost-down and added-value. The resulting R&D advances in material selection, moulding processes and design techniques, expanded BNL’s bearing capabilities to meet challenges in six key areas: load, temperature, impact, speed, strength and diametrical clearance.

Through better understanding and processing of current materials, BNL have increased the life of existing plastic bearings, supplying a better performing product to customers. The percentage uplift achieved in the six areas equates to stronger products (25% uplift in strength), higher load capability (50%), higher operational temperature (44%), better impact resistance (22%) and faster speeds (43%) – without adding weight or compromising the added-value from integrated design, such as component reduction and reduced assembly. 

BNL’s plastic bearing designs are mainly based on three types of bearing: deep groove, angular contact and thrust race. The new ranges comprise of crowned, taper and needle roller bearing designs for applications with higher loads. Additionally, bearing designs with plastic balls and rollers, offering weight reduction from lighter bearings whilst maintaining strength, life and operational function, are in development.

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