A British manufacturer of sanitary wet wipes faced frequent costly equipment breakdowns and decided to upgrade by installing linear guides from NSK. The replacement was part of the NSK Improved Assets Improvement Program (AIP) and led to an increase in machine productivity, as well as reduced maintenance costs and downtime. As a result, the linear guides from NSK ensured an increase in the service life of almost 9 times thanks to the carriages made of stainless steel and rails with a special coating.
The manufacturer of wet wipes for domestic and cosmetic use faced problems on the cutting and styling lines, where wet wipes are separated and pressed for subsequent packaging. In this area, a linear guide located on the support section of the stacker often failed.
The stacker's supporting section uses a linear guide with a stationary carriage and a rail with a fixed base moving rapidly up and down to compress wet wipes. For the production of rail and carriage linear guide used high carbon bearing steel, and the carriage is equipped with standard seals.
Linear rail failures resulted in increased maintenance costs and unplanned downtime. Failures occurred on average every two weeks (26 times a year), and each cost 410 euros per hour of inactivity. With each failure, the technician needed 30 minutes to replace the guide.
The company sought to find a solution that could increase machine productivity and extend the life of the linear guide. NSK specialists were invited to review and verify working conditions. It was found that the frequent breakdowns of the linear guides used were due to corrosion and penetration of liquid chemicals, which led to a failure due to leaching of grease.
According to the results of the test, NSK engineers recommended replacing the standard components with linear guides from NSK with stainless steel carriages and rails with a special coating. After replacement, breakdowns occur much less frequently. Previously, the plant had 26 failures per year, and for 12 months of operation of the linear guides from NSK, the company recorded only 3 failures, that is, 88% less. As a result, the company has achieved significant savings by reducing the amount of equipment downtime and reducing the cost of repairing linear guides.
NSK began manufacturing first bearings in Japan in 1916 and has now become a global organization dedicated to research, design, and manufacturing solutions for the transportation, energy, and industrial sectors. NSK is now the leading supplier of bearings in Japan and the third largest supplier in the world.