How To Properly Maintain the Condition of Your Electric Motor Bearings

Electric motors are an apparatus that is commonly found in various industries and applications, serving to convert electrical energy into mechanical power. Coming in a number of designs, shapes, and sizes, electric motors ensure the operability of water pumps, automobiles, vacuum cleaners, machinery, dishwashers, and so much more. With consistent operations, general wear and tear may eventually lead to the failure of a motor, necessitating the regular inspection and maintenance of parts. Electric motor bearings in particular are an important element to check on a set schedule, due to the fact that they are regularly overlooked.

While somewhat simplistic in appearance, motor bearings serve important roles in the overall functionality of the apparatus. Generally, the bearings will be tasked with supporting the rotor as well as managing loads as they are moved from the shaft to the electric motor. It is important that each bearing is able to perform well across high and low speeds, all while mitigating frictional losses.
Bearings such as ball bearings and sleeve bearings typically vary in their performance based on their design and functionality, and it is important to make all considerations before carrying out a purchasing decision. Generally, the most important factors are load types, gear and belt coupling, vibration levels, lubrication, shaft speed levels, environmental temperatures, and more. If bearings break down under such conditions, they can cause detrimental issues to other surrounding components and assemblies.
During the inspection process for motor bearings, there are a few things that one should look out for. If sleeve bearings are producing scraping sounds during operations and they are resisting movement, then it is possible that they have already begun to seize up. Thankfully, such issues are often treated with the addition of oil for lubrication.
Ball bearings, meanwhile, will often exhibit a particular dry rolling sound when they have begun to face major wear. As the shaft rotates, the worn-out ball bearings will be resistant to movement. While lubrication would help in the case of a sleeve bearing, ball bearings that have been worn out will be permanently damaged. As a result, they will need to be fully replaced before resuming standard operations.
Alongside regularly checking such bearings to see if they require attention, there are also other various ways in which one may uphold the general health of their electric motors. In addition to bearings, one should also service stator windings, lubricate all bearings, keep track of performance over time, and more. With proper care for your electric motors, you can ensure that they continue to operate with high efficiency and reliability.
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