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Food & Beverage

Increasing Equipment Uptime And Eliminate Costly Greasing


Agriculture, food and beverage solutions

The possible applications for self-lubricating and water-lubricated bearings are almost endless!  A selection of examples are highlighted here to give some ideas on where Thordon bearing materials have been successfully installed and used to eliminate oil and grease and extend equipment uptime.

Pork Processing - Hanger Pivots

This customer replaced greased pairs of greased roller bearings with a single ThorPlas-Blue plain bushing. The roller bearings had to be replaced monthly, while the ThorPlas-Blue material provides a service life well over 1 year, significantly reducing maintenance costs.

Seafood - Conveyor Bearings

This seafood processing equipment is continuously exposed to splashing water and other debris, in addition to frequent washdowns. The original Nylon bearings suffered from rapid wear, needing grease every 2 weeks, and replacement every 3 weeks. The nylon bearings were replaced with Thordon SXL self-lubricated elastomer, and after a 2-month initial trial with no measurable wear, the upgrade was considered a success!

Sugar Cane - Feed Table Wheel Bushings

Conveyor support wheels in the incoming feed tables were originally fitted with greased bronze bushings. The dust, dirt, and sand that comes in with the raw cane gets into the greased bearings, and causes severe abrasion and frequent break-downs. The bronze bushings lasted less than 15 days between replacements, but after replacing with grease-free Thordon SXL elastomer they have a service life greater then 1 year!

Wet Corn Milling - Shaft Bearing

Grease-free ThorPlas-Blue was used to replaced greased SKF roller element bearings. This eliminated risk of grease contamination and improved corrosion resistance to the sulfuric acid present in the milling process.

Malting - Steep Tank Hinge Bearing

This customer had tried phenolic laminates, and UHMWPE bearings without success. The malting process involves temperatures up to 80°C, salt water, and once a month cleaning with a Sodium Hypochlorite & Calcium Hypochlorite solution that is extremely hard on bearing materials. ThorPlas-Blue was installed as an upgrade to extend service life.

Bottling Plant - Filler Valve Bearings

This customer had tried PTFE, nylon, and PEEK, but all materials suffered from very short service life. The high-strength self-lubricated ThorPlas-White is a perfect food & drinking water safe bearing material that is now being tested at several breweries with a substantial improvement in service life.

Meat Processing - Pump Bearing

The original pump bearing was made of steel, and had to be removed entirely from the pump in order to be cleaned. The Thordon SXL elastomer bearing allowed a "clean-in-place" procedure, substantially reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

Fruit Processing - Tank Agitator

The main shaft on the agitator has had the bearing upgraded to ThorPlas-White in order to extend service life, and reduce maintenance.

Meat Processing - Packaging Conveyor Roller

A bacon processing plant had a challenge with a packaging line. With independent UHMWPE idler pulleys, the silicone belts moving the product would move at different speeds causing the bacon to get misaligned or fall off before getting to the packaging station. Upgrading to a single piece ThorPlas-Blue idler allowed the belts speeds to stay synchronized.

Dry Goods – Screw Conveyors

Grease-free hanger bearings are a perfect upgrade for many types of dry-goods screw conveyors. Eliminating grease reduces maintenance AND ensures zero-contamination of the product.

Gluten Dryer - Pillow Block Bearings

The original bearings were basic blocks of UHMWPE supporting the rotating rollers. Upgrading to ThorPlas-Blue self-lubricated bearings has extended the wear life and reduced the service interval for the equipment.

Gluten Dryer – Takeup Bearings

The original roller bearing take-up assemblies were retrofitted with ThorPlas-Blue spherical inserts within the existing take-up housings. This direct-fit upgrade maintains the original equipment design, while extending the bearing service life.

Conveyor Bearings - Reduce Maintenance

Grease-free ThorPlas-Blue upgrade kits are a direct replacement for flange mounted greased roller bearing assemblies. Eliminate the grease and extend the service life!

Conveyor Bearings - Avoid Contamination

Eliminated risk of product contamination inherent with conventional greased roller bearings. Install direct “bolt-in” replacement flanged bearings and take-up assemblies fitted with ThorPlas-Blue for a zero-grease solution.

Conveyor Bearings - Survive Frequent Washdowns

Most existing greased roller bearings require frequent re-greasing to maintain reliable operation when subjected to frequent washdowns. Use a grease-free bearing material like ThorPlas-Blue and eliminate this maintenance task completely!