Bakery guided to tenfold increase in service life08 December 2020

A large bakery is saving more than €200,000 a year in maintenance and downtime costs after switching to a new guide system for its dough slicing machines.

The guides incorporate an integrated lubrication system that continuously releases lubricant over a long period of time to help keep the guides running.

The linear guides serve the process-integrated band cutters in the bakery’s dough slicing systems. They were failing every three weeks on average. Despite being coated with an Armoloy finish – and using food-grade grease – the desired performance criteria could not be met.

To overcome its issues, the bakery sought a linear guide that would not only offer long service life, but be capable of higher speeds, as the company planned to boost the productivity of its dough slicers from 250 to more than 300 cycles per minute.

Within NSK’s AIP (Added Value Programme), company experts performed an on-site assessment of the application’s environmental conditions, as well as linear guides that had failed. Once complete, the team recommended the use of NH/NS series stainless steel linear guides in combination with a K1 food-grade lubrication unit.

NSK’s K1 lubrication units provide a clean solution in which the lubricant is incorporated in a carrier medium and released little by little to ensure supply over a long time period. Extensive sealing prevents contaminants from reaching the running surface.

After an initial trial had been completed successfully, NSK prompted the bakery to fit all of its dough slicing machines with this system.

Since changing to the NH/NS series, the bakery performs maintenance routines after 32 weeks at the earliest. This outcome represents a more than tenfold increase in service life. Annual savings of €206,000 have been achieved thanks to the need for far fewer replacements, along with reduced maintenance and machine downtime.

To further extend the potential benefits, NSK has recently introduced the K1-L lubrication unit. The K1-L houses a new polyolefin-based carrier material with a much larger reserve of lubricant, leading to a service life which is typically double that of the K1 series. Fully compatible with NH/NS series linear guides, the K1-L acts as a direct replacement for existing K1 units.

Operations Engineer

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NSK Bearings Europe Ltd

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