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Spindle Bearing Success: Factors to Know!

At Emerson, we have over 50 years of experience creating high-quality ball bearings and roller bearings for commercial and industrial applications. Through both Emerson Bearing and Action Bearing, we’re proud to serve markets around the world. Emerson Bearing services niche international markets, and our New England customers are served by Action Bearing, which specializes in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) solutions.

Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We serve our customers by ensuring each one gets the right high-quality bearings and services at the best available price for their budget.

Key Factors to Know

Spindle Bearing Success
When you’re choosing ball or roller bearings for your next project, there are three key factors to keep in mind: contact angle, preload, and system rigidity.

1. Contact Angle

This is the line of contact along which the ball bearing touches the raceways of the assembly. This angle is determined by the thrust loading and radial play. Ideally, the contact angle should be 15°—this is the optimal balance between axial and radial capacity and rigidity. To increase the axial rigidity, some systems have a contact angle of 25°. No matter which angle works best for your system, it’s essential to choose the bearings that operate best at the given angle.

2. Preload

Preload is a force that holds the raceway and rolling element surfaces under pressure. It’s a constant elastic compressive force that stops the parts from moving in an uncontrolled manner —either axially or radially—even when they’re under load. The right bearings will tolerate this additional force without breakage.

3. System Rigidity

Machine tools generate several different forces that ball and roller bearings need to be able to account for. Factors such as housing stiffness and bearing stiffness determine the machine’s system rigidity and ability to produce consistently precise results.

Maintenance and Care

All bearings have a pre-determined bearing life, or a maximum number of rotations the bearing can undergo. These rotations impact the inner rings, outer rings, and rolling elements with constant load, which leads to inevitable wear. Factors that can lead to excessive wear and shorten the effective lifespan of the bearings include:

  • Inefficient or full contact seals. The more contact a bearing has with a seal (such as a full contact seal) or the less calibrated a seal is, the more wear the bearing will undergo. This can wear the sealing element as well as the bearing.
  • High speeds or speed changes. If the bearing is operating at excess speeds, the friction can quickly wear through a bearing. Also, excess speeds can increase sliding speed, which causes uneven wear. If the operation speed changes too quickly, that will increase the slip and wear.
  • Poor environmental conditions. Dirt, dust, and other foreign particles can scratch the ball bearing’s surface and cause wear. The presence of water can also corrode the surface, leading to poor performance and a shortened lifespan.

With proper maintenance and care, operators can extend the life of bearings to reach or exceed the recommended service life. Two of the most important parts of caring for ball and roller bearings include cleaning the bearings and reapplying grease. Incorporate these tips to extend the equipment’s lifespan:

  • Grease storage. Always keep grease tins closed when not in use and keep the containers in a separate storage environment with stable temperatures. We recommend not using grease that’s more than three years old.
  • Grease application. Once the bearings have been cleaned and completely dried, apply grease over the balls and rings. Be sure an equal amount of grease gets between the balls in the inner ring. To ensure the grease is as clean as possible, always apply it with clean spatulas or with clean plastic syringes for precise applications.

Working With an Industry Leader in Emerson

We know that getting the best possible performance out of your equipment relies on having high-quality ball and roller bearings from the start. Our team is here to help you find the bearings with the right specifications for your facility’s sensitive tools and equipment. We maintain an extensive inventory of bearings for countless high-speed and high-precision applications. Our selection also includes next-generation bearings made from specialty steels.


If you want to ensure maximum performance of your equipment’s bearings, start with a professionally sourced, high-quality selection from the international experts at Emerson. We can help your team find the ideal ball and roller bearings for any application to ensure a long service life. To see how our team can help with your bearing selection process, please contact us.

Why Choose Precision Slewing Ring Bearings?

Precision slewing ring bearings are a type of angular bearing that consists of two concentric rings with balls or rollers that enhance movement in load-bearing and power transmission applications. The two rings may be constructed with toothed gears to increase torque and can facilitate movement in any direction from the center of the bearing. They are ideal for use in low-speed, heavy load applications such as construction and excavation, or more intricate and precise such as medical tools and devices. Overall, there are many benefits to using precision slewing rings bearings.

Key Benefits and Difference of Precision Slewing Ring Bearings

Slewing ring bearings offer a number of unique benefits over other ball and roller bearings, especially for heavy load applications that require great freedom of movement. slewing ring bearings

  • Versatile Load Spectrum:Slewing ring bearings provide 360-degree joint support for complex load bearing systems, which allows for concurrent movement on multiple axes.
  • Shaftless Design:Slewing rings are designed to operate without a shaft or spindle, thereby enhancing bearing motion and allowing space for additional operational components.
  • Load Carrying Capacity:Slewing ring bearings are designed to handle the movement of heavy loads with great efficiency.
  • Ideal Stiffness:Although they are designed to facilitate a wide range of motion, slewing ring bearings exhibit high material stiffness to ensure sufficient support in rigid bearing applications.
  • Low Friction:Slewing bearings are particularly valuable for their low-friction and freedom of movement, which enhances process efficiency while increasing the service life of the bearing and surrounding equipment.
  • Extended Service Life:Slewing ring bearings offer a highly durable, low friction load-bearing option that reduces the stress and friction on the bearing and interacting components. The reduced equipment wear helps to extend the service life of the bearing and the system as a whole.

Applications of Precision Slewing Ring Bearings

The versatility and efficiency of slewing ring bearings makes them ideal for use in a range of industries and applications, from military and defense equipment to manufacturing and transportation. Common applications include:

  • Military and Defense: Slewing ring bearings are often used in military and defense equipment that must direct heavy loads with a high degree of precision. They can be found in missile launchers, tank turrets, and optical devices, among many others.
  • Construction: The construction industry benefits from the use of slewing rings, particularly in load-bearing and lifting applications, such as lifts, cranes, hydraulic excavators, and borers.
  • Bottling Technologies: The 360-degree rotation of slewing rings makes them especially useful for industrial bottling applications including sanitization, washing capping, and labeling functions.
  • Mining:Slewing rings are frequently used in mining excavation and tunnel boring, where equipment must be able to move freely under heavy loads.
  • TransportationTrains, trams, and subways often use slewing rings to facilitate free and easy vehicle movement.
  • Tooling and Machining: Slewing ring bearings are often used to facilitate movement in precision machine tools. They allow for free multi-axis movement of machine tool spindles in precision milling and turning applications.

Bearing Maintenance and Care

Although slewing ring bearings may require less maintenance than other bearing designs, they can often suffer damage and failure due to insufficient or incorrect lubrication. When mounting bearings, it is important to ensure that you are greasing your rings with solid lube during the pre-mount phase. Post mount lubrication and maintenance should be regularly scheduled to ensure the service life of your bearings.

In addition to ensuring the correct lubrication, it is important to regularly check for debris, dirt, and other contaminants in the  lubricant, as they can abrade or wear down your bearings, thereby reducing the service life and increasing repair and replacement costs.

If your slewing ring bearing is mounted on an uneven or easily distorted surface, the weight of the loads will be unevenly distributed on your bearing. This can result in localized wear and tear, further reducing the bearing’s service life. To prevent undue wear on your bearings, try to ensure that they are operating on a flat, strong surface.

Precision Slewing Rings by Emerson Bearing

At Emerson Bearing, we have 50 years of experience in providing superior quality bearings for our customers around the world. Our highly experienced staff has the knowledge necessary to ensure you have the perfect bearing design and material for your application. To learn more about our precision slewing ring bearings and how they can improve your operations, request a quote today!