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Mining Equipment get Improved Performance Using Timken Bearings

The Timken Company today announced that L&H Industrial Inc., a leading North American rebuilder and manufacturer of mining equipment components, is providing better equipment reliability to mine sites as a result of a new Timken(R) bearing design. Timken's new spherical roller bearing cartridge has improved service life, saving mine operators thousands of dollars.

"Because of Timken's reputation for developing solutions to enhance its customers' performance, L&H Industrial turned to Timken when it encountered ongoing repair problems. Timken's knowledge of friction management not only helped L&H Industrial, but also the end users who are L&H's customers," said Trip Kern, Timken's mining market manager.

L&H Industrial's customers had problems with the reliability of the electric shovels they bought from original equipment manufacturers. These shovels, which are used to scoop 80-plus tons of earth and coal into haulage trucks in a single bite, could break down unexpectedly, resulting in lost productivity and repair costs that could exceed $5,000 an hour. When typical repairs last upward of 10 hours per incident, the financial implications could be significant.

L&H analyzed the equipment repairs and identified the shovel's swingshaft as the root problem. At the lower end of the swingshaft, the main rotating pinion was mounted in an "overhung" position, which subjected the swingshaft to severe bending loads at the last bearing. These shafts tended to crack after 4,000 to 6,000 hours - or about every eight to 12 months - often causing an unexpected stop for maintenance.

L&H turned to Timken for a solution. Timken developed a new spherical roller bearing cartridge featuring an enlarged inside diameter and changes in its metallurgical properties. The new bearing has nearly double the life of the previous design and fits into the original housing.

"The shovels are still running, going on two years," said Troy Allee, L&H engineering manager. "We are grateful to Timken because they helped find a solution for our customer. Few companies offer service and deliver value like that."

The Timken Company realizes that service life is a critical component of a mine site's profitability.

"Our ability to develop innovative integrated assemblies like this lower swingshaft bearing and to follow up with the necessary technical support demonstrates Timken's commitment to serving the mining industry," Kern said.


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