Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Holidays: PEER and Package Distribution

Conveyors are modern-day Santa's elves
As the gift-giving season comes upon us, many are participating in the busiest shopping time of the year that begins with the “Black Friday” to “Cyber Monday” weekend of sales.  Technology has made the consumer experience of buying a gift online, or even sending a gift via a freight carrier, a very pain-free one.  What many may not be aware of is the complexity of the package distribution systems that exist, and just what goes into making that 1-click sale happen.  With the shortest period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in a decade, many distributors and logistics companies are gearing up for an intense few weeks of shipping deadlines, and consumers would be wise to plan their package-sending well in advance.

Behind the scenes of any distribution center lays an extremely advanced infrastructure for the sorting, conveyance, and distribution of packages – one particularly huge example comes to mind.  In order to get a package from any one drop-off location and to the doors of the recipients, it may need to be sent through several distribution centers, tracked, and delivered, within a time frame that keeps the customer happy.  This level of sophistication requires many different technologies working in unison, including encoding and tracking software, perhaps even automated sorting technology, and of course continuously moving conveyors, to physically move things along to where they need to be.

Those in the industry call this intelligent sortation – and we’d argue that one of the backbones of this technology is the bearing.  On a scale of this proportion, conveyors are necessary to move parcels over the distances of huge warehouse floors efficiently.  As such, the bearing on these conveyors need to be durable, dependable, and long-lasting.  We’re sure that no one in the warehousing and distribution business wants to deal with a faulty bearing that causes a conveyor to stop working – every second it’s not up and running is another delay; conversely, every working bearing is a delay prevented, and a customer satisfied.

So this year, if you’re lucky enough to receive a special gift in the mail, take a second to appreciate the complexity of the system that makes it possible, and give your delivery guy a smile.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Advantage of Maintenance-Free Bearings for the Agricultural Industry

In modern farming, the notion that a piece of equipment doesn’t need regular maintenance is generally regarded as na├»ve, or a sales pitch. The combination of contamination, wear, and exposure to the elements traditionally requires farmers to perform regular maintenance on much of the equipment. Regular maintenance including greasing and lubrication on much of the rotary equipment used has become second nature.  Until now, failing to keep the equipment well lubricated and in great shape meant a rapid decrease in performance, decreased efficiency, and even loss of opportunity for planting or harvesting.

At PEER, we understand the farmers’ needs to keep their equipment in the field.   PEER is a leader in design of maintenance free bearings by understanding that farmers have a very short window for both planting and harvesting their crops.

By eliminating the need for daily lubrication with a maintenance-free bearing, the farmer sees several distinct advantages:

  • The ability to leave a machine in the field

  • Less money spent on grease

  • Less environmental impact and soil contamination by excess grease

  • More time spent actually using the equipment, extending or making more flexible the time frame of the harvest.

To combat any creeping skepticism, let us assure you that at PEER, we did much more than remove the zerk fittings on our bearings to make them maintenance free: we improved the internal construction of our bearings; we designed an improved seal package by engineering proprietary technology to keep the grease in and the contaminants out; and we engineered our product to withstand even the most severe of conditions.

With this and all our products, we’re committed to staying at the forefront of our industry, and providing new and reliable technology for our customers.   To find out more, check out our Xtreme line at Agritechnica this year, Hannover, Germany – we’re at Hall 01, Stand, #0A314 and would love to talk to you.  If you can’t make it this year, or miss us at the show, tweet @PEERBEARING or visit our website for more information.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It’s harvest time! Making sure that equipment is in operating conditionis key.

peer bearingHarvest time is an exciting time for all farmers. The much anticipated reaping of rewards from the hard work done throughout growing season is nearly upon us - and now is the time to ensure that your equipment is in top operating condition.

In order to maximize time in the field, yields require preventive maintenance and adjustments to combines to ensure safety, efficiency and optimal performance. Combines should be cleaned and inspected prior to going into the field in order to reduce lost time - which cannot be made up if weather conditions become adverse.

Here are some additional tips for preventative maintenance:

Clean the combine.
  • This is a critical part of the preparation. By removing any previous crop residue and chaff, efficiency will be improved and it will lessen wear on critical components. Remove old grain, any rodent nests that may have been built in storage and clean any oil and grease buildup. This will allow you to safely inspect the combine components more easily and safely.
Check the combine for any loose or missing hardware, protective shields and components.
  • Give yourself enough time to order and install any worn or missing components.
Inspect all belts, hoses and gears for wear or damage. Also, inspect all bearings and augers.
  • This will ensure they are operating at optimal efficiency.
Check for any missing or damaged shields, guards, loose nuts, bolts and screws.
  • These provide safety and prevent machine breakdowns.
Check gauges and indicators so you don’t miss a warning while in the field.
  • Also, be sure to check lights and safety markers to avoid dangerous situations while transporting and using the equipment.
By making sure that equipment is safe and efficient early in the season, you’ll be able to pay large dividends in the field. Studies show that the loss of as little as two kernels of corn per row-foot or 4 kernels for soy beans can add up to one bu/acre left in the field. With prices at historical highs, this can add up quickly to money left in the field.

Once your equipment is tuned-up and ready for the field, some additional considerations can also help in making fall harvest safer and more efficient. When the field was planted, the seeding unit has a wider and more forgiving width pattern than the harvesting equipment. You were able to plant closer to edges of ravines, dips and other sloping areas. Harvesting equipment has a narrower center so caution must always be taken when addressing these areas.

Enjoy the harvest, reap the rewards of your hard work and be safe!





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baggage Handling Industry Gets Set for One of the Busiest Seasons ofthe Year

It’s almost that time of the year again: More people will be traveling during the busy holiday season that starts with Thanksgiving and continues until the start of the new year in 2014. According to AAA, earlier this month, Labor Day holiday air travel increased to its highest point since the recession. This upward trend is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, so all travel-related industries need to be prepared for lots of activity in the coming months.

bagge claimThe baggage handling industry is one of the industries directly affected by increased travel. Literally, there’s a lot of mileage covered, and a lot of work that goes into getting a passenger’s bags from their departure point to their final destination.

For example, the baggage handling system at Denver International Airport has more than 5 miles of conveyors and 19 miles of DCV track to move baggage throughout the airport. Success depends on several systems and operations working effectively and moving things along without a hitch. Ultimately, it’s the quality and reliability of the components of these types of material handling systems that ultimately drive success in the baggage handling industry, and in any industry that relies on high performance.

We’re already known in the agriculture and automotive industries for quality performance bearings. Now, PEER Bearing Company has introduced a new product line specifically designed for baggage handling and other material handling industries. We offer 2-bolt, 3-bolt, 4-bolt, and take-up housings with industry matching dimensions that are approved by baggage handling design consultants and integrators. Plus, we’ve consulted with an independent bearing engineering firm for a source qualification inspection, comparing the quality of workmanship and manufacturing capabilities of PEER with our competitors. PEER has been shown to have the highest quality ratings, resulting in the lowest vibration and noise levels in the industry.

Whether it’s a baggage handling system or other material handling system, our bearings can improve the value of the system while keeping things moving along smoothly, from departure to final destination. Please contact us directly for more information and to learn how we can help you prepare for one of the busiest times of the year.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Keeping Things Clean in the Food & Beverage Industry

peer corrosionFood contamination is a global issue today, and it seems to be getting more prevalent each day. Food manufacturers around the world are faced with a variety of challenges to maintain a sanitary production environment. They must comply with many government regulations that are imposed on equipment and machinery designed for food and beverage production. These regulations make a lot of sense: They were created and are driven by concerns caused by increasing reports of bacteria, pathogens and other harmful organisms and debris contaminating the foods and beverages we consume.

One recent report from FoodSafetyNews.com says, “War on emerging pathogens is intensifying in 2013…”  Keeping things clean in the food and beverage industry relies on many factors, including sanitary design principles for the equipment that’s being used to produce and package food and beverage products. In the equipment, there can’t be any catch points where bacteria and organisms get hung up or grow. If this happens, contamination likely will occur.

To keep things moving along to foster a sanitary environment in the food production environment, machinery components – including bearings and bearing units – must be corrosion-resistant, high-pressure resistant and high-heat resistant, as well. That’s why PEER Corrosion-Resistant Bearings and Bearing Units, designed for wash-down applications, are ideal for food and beverage production equipment.

Want to learn more? There’s a Food Safety Summit Resource Center at Pack EXPO this year. September 23-25, 2013, subject-matter experts will speak about issues affecting food and beverage manufacturers today. You can also learn more about food-grade equipment, components and corrosion-resistant bearing units by downloading this brochure from the PEER Bearing website.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot This Summer -- And High-Efficiency Cooling Systems Combat Heat Waves Around the World

With heat waves affecting much of the U.S. and locations around the world this summer, generators and air conditioners are being heavily used and relied on each and every day. From New York to London to Detroit, the temperatures have been heating up – and even unlikely places like Russia and Alaska have been baking in the sun!

As the temperatures soar, so does the usage of cooling systems and power generators. What’s keeping those high-efficiency air conditioners and generators running? They rely on electric motors – vital components currently being used in the heating and cooling systems of new construction and renovated buildings.

High-efficiency cooling systems offer many benefits, in addition to their main job of keeping things cool when the temperatures heat up. These benefits include:
  • LEED certification and initiatives
Air_conditioner.svgHigh-efficiency cooling systems can help everyone meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) initiatives developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to assist in the design, construction and operation of high-performance green (“green” as in “sustainable”) buildings. Ways to achieve LEED certification are outlined in an online brochure from Lennox: Helping HVAC Professionals Take the LEED, and Trane offers another helpful brochure – LEED and HVAC. How Trane Can Help -- for HVAC professionals and anyone who wants to learn more about LEED initiatives.
  • Lower operating costs
High-efficiency systems also lower operating expenses by keeping cooling expenses down during heat waves and hotter months throughout the year.

PEER Bearing manufactures the bearings that are components in the motors being used in high-efficiency heating and cooling systems for Carrier, Lennox, Trane and other OEMs. We’re a global supplier and manufacturer of reliable ball and roller bearing solutions to various industries, including our new line of large bore deep groove bearings. We hope you’ll think of us this summer as you’re staying cool – and being “green” – using high-efficiency HVAC systems!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Proper Car Maintenance and Automotive Bearings

University_Park_MMB_E1_Nightingale_HallBefore you drive off in your car on your next trip – whether it’s around the block or across the country – have you made sure all is right with the bearings? Bearings work hard for your car, supporting both a large radial load from the car’s weight AND a large thrust load from cornering forces as you make a turn. Most car manufacturers recommend a wheel bearing clean, inspection, and repack every 30,000 miles.

Your SUV or truck’s steering system depends on ball bearings to keep the system working smoothly. Ball bearings recirculating through the gear as it turns reduce friction and wear ‘n’ tear. They also reduce what is known as “slop.” Slop would cause the steering wheel to feel loose while you’re turning – because without bearings in the gear, the teeth briefly come out of contact with each other.

It’s not difficult to check your vehicle’s bearings to see if they need to be repacked. You want to be sure the grease surrounding the bearings hasn’t become inundated with abrasive dust, dirt and small particles of metal. These abrasive bits can wear away at the gear and you’ll end up with a noisy, grinding ride. Or worse. You could eventually lose a wheel.

Consult your owner’s manual to know whether your vehicle has sealed front bearings. Some do; some don’t. If your car’s are sealed, they can’t be repacked. If you own a four-wheel drive vehicle, it’s complicated and should be handled professionally.

To get a general idea without taking wheels off, put the car up on jack stands. Then, without getting underneath, grasp the top and bottom of the wheel and try to “rock” it. There should be little  movement – if you’re able to joggle the wheel, it could be a sign the bearing is worn.

Next, put an automatic transmission car in “neutral” or a take a manual car out of gear. Rotate the wheel while listening for unusual sounds or any roughness as it turns. These are also signs of damaged bearings.

If you need guidance and/or assistance on how to change bearings, there are several great online resources that can guide you through the process.  If you are not inclined to make these repairs yourself, your local auto mechanic can change these for you. Remember, faulty wheel bearings compromise your safety and those that are in the vehicle with you.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Safety Tips: Conveyors

Conveyors have been in use for decades.  The inherent dangers of using this type of industrial equipment are often overlooked by both management and workers in constant contact with the machinery.  Serious injuries linked to conveyors are not uncommon in manufacturing environments.  Everything from death to critical injuries takes place.  On average about there are 234 claims per year that involve a powered conveyor.

These accidents are serious matters and employers should take precautions to heart.  In a recent incident, an employer was found to be guilty for failing to take reasonable precaution by “ensuring the conveyor was stopped and locked out before the worker (that was killed) entered the area.  The company was fined $150,000.

All companies should be focused on the safety of workers not only to avoid prosecution, but more importantly to avoid serious injuries and possible death.  One way to make certain that safety measures are in place is to work on a selection of safety measures for conveyors.

First, identify the hazards:  Focus on the common locations for injuries on a conveyor first.  With over 48% of accidents happening between the live drum, head drum, or tail drum and the belt.  13% take place between a load carrying or return roller and the drum.  And finally, 13% of accidents happen in other areas – for example, between electromagnets and other parts.

Second, use risk assessment techniques to assess and document the hazard:   With knowledge of the hazards, it is important now to eliminate the hazard or to work on controlling the hazards by applying and implementing appropriate safeguards and other control measures.  There are several common guarding methodologies to follow.  They are:
  1. Fixed Guards
  • Perimeter/Surround Guards
  • Barrier Guard (Fixed Distance) 
  • Fixed In-Running Nip Guards 
  • Interlocking Guards 
  • Interlocked Guards with Guard Locking


Finally, eliminate the hazards by an inherently safe design:  This is achieved through review of the current designs and looking for potential flaws or areas that could be upgraded to provide for a safer working environment.

The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) has established standards that it believes should be followed in order to reduce the risk of equipment damage, serious injury, or an accidental death.
  1. Never Climb, Sit, Stand, Walk, Ride, or Touch the Conveyor – at any time.
  2. Do NOT perform maintenance on a conveyor until energy, air, hydraulic, and gravity energy sources have been blocked or locked out.
  3. Only operate equipment with all manufacturer approved covers and guards in place.
  4. Make certain all personnel are clear of equipment before starting.
  5. Only authorized personnel should be allowed to operate or maintain conveyors.
  6. Keep clothing, body parts, and hair away from moving conveyors.
  7. All safety buttons and stop mechanism should be visible and easily accessible.
Follow these and other safety guidelines when operating or in the vicinity of an operational conveyor.  Though these seem simple in nature, they are important to maintain the health and safety of all workers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Proper Maintenance of Bearings in Ground Engaging Farming Equipment

Farmers can reduce expenses and increase productivity through proper bearing maintenance for ground engaging farming equipment.  Proper lubrication reduces failures and extends the life, efficiency, and reliability of the bearings.  A little daily preventative maintenance goes a long way when in the fields.  Below are some suggestions for proper maintenance.  Please consult your equipment manufacturer’s service guidelines for specific information on maintaining farming equipment.

agricultural-imgTo properly grease a bearing, the zerk fitting should be cleaned prior to re-lubrication.  The grease gun nozzle should also be clean and free of dirt and moisture. Only use a hand greasing gun as high pressure pneumatic ones lead to over lubricating and displacing of the seals. It’s good practice to grease the bearing while it is turning to evenly disperse grease.  The re-lubrication will push out any old grease which also helps remove contaminants from the bearing.

Keep in mind that too much grease can lead to early failure.  Over greasing the bearings will cause the grease to go through the seal lips and can lead to early bearing failure.  That extra grease is also detrimental to your fields.  The excess grease leads to soil contamination, polluting the precious ground and your livelihood.

If you prefer a maintenance-free alternative, PEER Bearing has a growing line of agricultural bearings that do not require re-lubrication. These units have a proprietary seal construction that is designed to keep dirt, crop residue and water out of the bearing.  They also help increase your productivity by reducing your need to maintain bearings daily, keeping your equipment running efficiently, and minimizing harmful grease going into the soil.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Getting to know PEER Bearing

PEER Bearing is a manufacturer and global supplier of reliable ball and roller bearing solutions to target industries that include: agricultural, distribution, electrical, fluid, industrial transmission, material handling and on highway and off highway.  PEER was established in 1941 and now is a wholly owned, independent brand of SKF.  For many years, PEER was the largest privately owned bearing company in the United States.

As a leader in the bearings categories that we serve, PEER has developed long and deep rooted relationships with our global manufacturing partners. We are an award winning supplier that works closely with our customers to develop bearing solutions that are reliable and cost effective through the utilization of our global application engineering and research and development teams.  We continue to invest in our manufacturing facilities and expand our product line capabilities to meet our customer needs.

So what does the future hold for PEER Bearing? We are continuing to expand our global capabilities to make ourselves more accessible to our customers.  This includes adding additional staff, warehousing and market specific product offerings to meet our customer needs.  PEER remains committed to offering the same excellent customer service and delivery times globally as we have for many years in the United States.