The ISO9001:2008 and AS9100C certified Napoleon Engineering Services (NES) announced that it will be showcasing its custom bearing manufacturing, bearing testing, bearing inspection and bearing test rig manufacturing capabilities at the forthcoming 44th Annual Turbomachinery Symposium and 31st Annual International Pump Users Symposium (Turbo & Pump 2015), September 14-17 in Houston, Texas.
Held once every year at George R. Brown Convention Center, the Turbo & Pump Symposia is a world-class event for training and networking with almost 100 training sessions from industry experts. Historically, the show has attracted over 1,900 unique exhibitors and close to 6,000 visitors from around the world. NES representatives at Booth 2319 will be available throughout Turbo & Pump 2015 to discuss the company’s newest bearing product and service offerings, including:
Custom Bearing Manufacturing
NES designs and manufactures high-precision custom ball and roller bearings using superelastic Ni-Ti alloys; wear-resistant, high-life materials and coatings; and advanced design technologies, in both small and large quantities, with competitive lead times. Key specialty areas of NES custom bearing manufacturing include:
Active magnetic backup bearings for active magnetic bearing (AMB) systems. Here, the custom bearings serve as a high-reliability secondary failsafe system for a primary AMB within power generation, petroleum refining, machine tooling, natural gas pipeline, and critical industrial applications. When using AMB to support a rotating shaft, any reduction or loss of power could cause the shaft to drop. With an AMB back-up bearing system, the shaft will drop 0.002” to 0.003” onto the back-up bearing system itself, allowing it to coast to a stop without causing damage to the shaft or surrounding machinery.
With available sizes from 1” to 14” OD, NES AMB back-up bearings incorporate wear-resistant materials, conventional or dry film lubricants, and a variety of cage and internal design characteristics. All of these combine to help manage the safe coast down of the rotating shaft. Depending upon application loads, full ball complement or caged bearing designs are specified. Some applications require more extreme design considerations, including special heat treatment processes, yielding very stable parts with extremely low residual stress. Other requirements allow for highly modified standard bearings with very short customer lead times.
Aerospace custom bearing manufacturing – Aerospace bearing manufacturing typically requires the use of superior quality raw materials; the incorporation of extensive design and project review processes; and support for any required material or process traceability. To meet these needs, NES offers complete design, development and manufacturing of custom high-precision aerospace ball and roller bearings, as well as custom bearing modification. The manufacturing process includes close collaboration with an aerospace OEM’s own in-house engineering team, with full project management support from initial concept thru to final delivery. Typical requirements range from all stainless steel full complement bearings; to M50 long life angular contact ball bearings; to superelastic Ni-Ti alloy designs which incorporate wear and corrosion-resistant, high-life materials and coatings. Supported applications include satellite and UAV and satellite arm actuation, antennas, fuel pumps, ram air turbines, transmission systems, turbine engines, and rocket engine valves. Expedited lead times are available upon request.
Corrosion resistant ceramic hybrid bearings – Typical bearings that are specified for oscillating applications are prone to concentrated, magnified and accelerated wear on bearing rolling elements and raceways, since the oscillatory motion isolates bearing stress into localized areas and creates lubricant trapping. For higher speed and oscillatory applications, NES manufactures a variety of ceramic hybrid bearing sizes and types, incorporating specialty materials and coatings.
NES custom ceramic hybrid bearings incorporate a silicon nitride material for reduced weight. This reduces the applied loads caused by centrifugal forces, with greater stiffness and lower frictional characteristics. The material also reduces heat generation and decreases operating temperatures. Silicon nitride bearings have excellent corrosion resistance for extended life. They also offer a lower thermal expansion coefficient, as compared to steel, for reduced thermal gradient effects across the bearing. For reliable operation within highly acidic environments, these corrosion-resistant bearings can run effectively in marginally lubricated applications at both high and low speeds, making them suitable for demanding manufacturing and vacuum system environments, as well as for use within corrosive saltwater and wash-down applications.
NES also offers custom OEM bearing modifications to help meet specific application requirements. Bearing modification can be a time and cost savings alternative for many OEM’s. Some of the more popular modifications supported by NES include re-greasing, preload and endplay grinding, radial clearance changes, tapered roller bearing spacers, anti-rotation slots, oil holes and grooves, and tapered bore grinding.
Bearing Test Rig Manufacturing
NES custom bearing test rigs support OEM aerospace, automotive, off-highway and industrial automation R&D requirements. The in-house capability for an OEM to perform its own rigorous bearing testing, via the use of its own rig, can reduce time-to-market and lead to new advancements in the OEM’s own mechanical bearing components and finished product technologies. NES can design and manufacture custom rigs for the testing of any sized ball or roller bearing, including four-ball and NASA five-ball rolling element testing. NES’s own in-house testing programs focus on three main aspects of testing; life (dynamic), environmental, and impact/static testing. This expertise is carried over into the design and development of the customer’s own robust bearing test rigs.
Customers can choose from a variety of test platforms and control options, in support of classical, sudden death, or maximum likelihood bearing test methodologies. NES engineers are available to evaluate customer intentions for bearing testing and to develop a 3D model and control option proposal for customer review of a prototype.
Bearing test rigs can be constructed to test for any number of parameters, including bearing or lubrication efficiency, rolling contact fatigue, environmental conditions, application reliability, or supplier comparison. They can also be designed with manual controls for constant operating parameters or with full automation for step-stress duty-cycle testing. Common monitoring and control features include bearing vibration, temperature, torque, rotational speed, applied load (axial, radial or moment), lubricant flow rate, oil inlet temperature, and thermal operating conditions. Test platforms can be designed with as many as eight test locations to maximize sampling rates and statistical accuracy, while still minimizing test time and overall budget.
Bearing Inspection and Bearing Testing Services
In addition to the aforementioned capabilities, the Olean, New York-based NES is also home to North America’s largest independent bearing inspection and bearing testing facility. This includes over 40 bearing test rigs. In-laboratory capabilities include bearing failure analysis and metallurgical testing; bearing stress analysis, including source qualification inspection (SQI); environmental testing; RCF and dynamic life cycle testing; impact and static load testing; first article inspection, per AS9102; and the reverse engineering of aircraft bearings for PMA-FAA Certification requirements.