The bearings industry in 2022 — particularly for sectors like automotive or aerospace — is rich with production variables that require versatile cold forming tooling solutions. For bearings manufacturers, the question is: Do I partner with a tool and die producer that can provide complete assemblies, or rely on an in-house tool room for die assemblies?
Choosing complete die assemblies provides a number of critical advantages in terms of precision, durability, and, most importantly, reducing lead times to help manufacturers deliver a quality product quickly. Let’s look at a couple of common bearings assemblies, and then we’ll discuss the benefits of partnering with a complete die assemblies provider like Header for the manufacturing of quality, durable bearings.
What Are Taper Roller Bearings?
An important element in automotive manufacturing, taper roller bearings are key in the production of components like CV joints, transfer cases, hubs, brakes, and even transmissions. Because each of these components is critical to the performance and life of a vehicle, taper roller bearings must be engineered for the utmost in reliability and durability, and that begins with precision tooling.
Taper roller bearings also require secondary finishing like grinding and tumbling, which means die assemblies machined to precise specs are critical in helping bearings manufacturers produce a quality, durable product with minimal additional processing.
The right die assembly to produce taper roller bearings can require up to three different kinds of carbide inserts in order to hit the necessary specs for production. The varied nature of carbide die inserts means bearings manufacturers that use loose inserts or kits put undue stress on tool room technicians to complete die assemblies in-house, loose inserts as opposed to complete assemblies makes it more difficult to source, inventory, and track the separate carbides needed for bearings manufacturing.
What Are Ball Bearing Assemblies?
Whereas taper roller bearings have a more narrow range of use, ball bearings assemblies are used in a much wider range of applications, and they are often found in a variety of common household consumer items — air conditioning units, dishwasher, ovens, and ceiling fans, just to name a few. As such, the design, engineering, and production of ball bearings assemblies needs to be more flexible and adaptable to production run specifications.
The difference between taper roller and ball bearings assemblies is that ball bearings cannot be reloaded, and each one must be reworked from the ground up in order to maximize the service life and ROI of the tooling. The carbide insert in ball bearings assemblies must be shortened for use in multiple production runs.
The challenge with ball bearings assemblies is that today’s toolrooms lack the technology and resources to precisely cut the blanks to the precise specifications — too much leftover material after forming will require more finishing before the ball die can be used in production, and too little material means the ball will be out of spec and much less effective.
What Are the Benefits of Using Complete Die Assemblies in Manufacturing Bearings?
First and foremost, using a complete die assembly helps simplify your supply chain by significantly reducing part numbers and inventory tasks, and this helps you bid jobs more accurately and effectively. It also reduces the time and resources required of your internal tool room to assemble loose die kits — and in today’s manufacturing space, time is money. Complete die assemblies provide a plug-and-play solution that optimizes both efficiency and productivity.
In addition, complete assemblies from a tool and die provider helps ensure dies are machined to very precise dimensions for immediate use in manufacturing without the need for any secondary processing. Plus, because complete bearings assemblies can be reloaded, manufacturers can save as much as 40% on material costs, which is a savings manufacturers can pass on to their customer.
Header’s die assembly specialists have the knowledge and experience to ensure the right carbide grade and size is used in any given application. Our state-of-the-art tools and superior craftsmanship helps manufacturers reduce lead times and build a better quality end product for their customers. Plus, we can advise bearings manufacturers on the right die assemblies for their application, and we can quickly reload or replace assemblies to help save time, money, and resources.