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NTN Significantly Improves Production Output at Copper Tube Manufacturer by Redesigning Pilger Mill

15 December 2020 - Toronto - Success Report - Products

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A major manufacturer of copper tubing for refrigeration in industrial markets across North America was experiencing failures on the infeed carriage drive gearbox in their pilger miller. The frequent failures were causing over 400 hours of downtime per year at a rate of $100 per hour. This also shortened maintenance cycles and reduced production speeds, causing a production bottleneck that was felt throughout the mill.

NTN’s engineering and sales support team ran a comprehensive diagnosis of the application and identified that the infeed carriage was thrust loading into the gearbox, causing failures every three to four months and dramatically reducing the mill’s profits.

The NTN Solution

NTN’s team recommended replacing the fixed side bearing of the infeed carriage screws from a spherical roller bearing to a tapered roller bearing mounted in a face-to-face arrangement. This solution is better suited to take thrust loads without transmitting them to the gearbox. An additional recommendation was also made to create four individual screws and two independent roll carriages to decrease the retraction time, minimize any “free” rocking and improve the continuous feeding of the tube.

The Result

The NTN solution allowed the mill to retract smoothly and reduce lag time in product transfer for continuous feeding of tube product, eliminating lost production time. The increased uptime and improved bearing life have resulted in over $80,000 in savings the first year after implementation.

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About NTN

Founded in 1918, NTN is one of the world's largest producers of premium quality ball and roller bearings, long recognized for the most stringent quality standards in the industry. With plants around the globe and a strong domestic manufacturing network, over 80% of the products sold by NTN in North America are made by one of the ten plants the company operates in Canada and the USA. NTN is also a leading provider of bearing services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. NTN's company vision is "to transform into Canada’s leader of the Ultimate Bearing Experience."

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