Miniature bearing supplier, SMB Bearings has opened the doors of its innovative relubrication room. SMB Bearing’s customers can now witness the relubrication processes of their bearings first-hand, an essential part of quality assurance checks in some industries. This is particularly pertinent for applications in food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and bearings for use in hazardous environments, where such observations are sometimes required for compliance.
Highly regulated sectors often require validation processes for external suppliers. In this instance, the relubrication process requires a qualified person to observe the relubrication, to confirm this procedure has been carried out to the customer’s requirements.
Businesses that need to witness the relubrication process for compliance, are invited to book an appointment to visit SMB Bearings' Oxfordshire headquarters. At the site, customers will be supplied with the relevant protective clothing and equipment to accompany the technician into the unique relubrication room, which is designed for the cleaning of bearings and the application of specialist lubricants.
"We have certain processes that we regard as intellectual property so customers that need to oversee a relubrication process usually need to sign a non-disclosure agreement," explained Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings.
"Relubrication is a very important process to ensure the longevity of bearings and their suitability for the environment they are used in," continued Johnson. "For example, bearings used in the food industry should be relubricated with a food-grade lubricant. Similarly, bearings used in semi-conductor manufacturing will require cleanroom grease to minimise atmosphere contamination."
Regardless of sector, observing the relubrication process is required by some customers as part of their quality assurance checks. Unless they can cope with minimum order quantities and long delivery times, businesses can often only source bearings containing standard lubrication. This lubrication is often not suitable for the end application so relubrication is vital as using bearings with the wrong type of lubricant could result in premature bearing failure, regulatory non-compliance and costly downtime.