5 Main Causes Of Industrial Bearing Malfunctions

5 Main Causes Of Industrial Bearing Malfunctions

Date: August 31, 2016

When engines, pumps, and other machinery are sent to repair shops for maintenance, it is not unusual to discover damaged bearings as the reason for malfunctioning. If industrial bearing malfunctions are occurring, the next step is to understand what factors are causing the failures and how to address them. The five most common causes of bearing malfunctions are inadequate lubrication, rust and corrosion, overloading, misaligned shafts, and contamination.

Inadequate lubrication

Failing to adequately lubricate industrial machinery creates excessive friction between the moving parts, which in turn results in overheating and rapid wear of the bearings. Excessive lubrication may also cause damage from overheating. This problem arises as an over-oiled bearing constantly forces unnecessary oil out, causing it to become overheated. If the overheating is not addressed, it will almost certainly result in machinery failure. You should always lubricate industrial bearings and equipment with the appropriate amount of the recommended oil type.

Rust and corrosion

Water, acids, and hardened oils can be very abrasive and may result in extreme or premature corrosion in industrial bearings. Prevent moisture build-up by regularly checking the machine’s temperature and making sure the bearings are properly lubricated with a high-quality oil. Caustic liquids that may come into contact with your machinery must be correctly drained. You could also choose sealed industrial bearings that do not let moisture in.


Overloading happens any time an industrial bearing is used over its rated operational capacity. Things like loud noises, rattling, and overheating are all typical symptoms of machine overload. Industrial machines should be properly matched with their intended use, so consult your equipment provider before you assemble or install them.

Misaligned shafts

Poorly aligned beams or shafts in revolving machines put an uneven amount of weight on industrial bearings, resulting in abnormal wear and stress damage. This issue can cause the equipment to vibrate, function poorly, or even break down completely. To prevent these particular issues, beams and shafts must be perfectly aligned at the time of installation.


Industrial bearings are often damaged by contaminants like dirt, dust, sand, and tiny pieces of metal that are typically found in dirty oil. You can minimize the chances of your equipment becoming contaminated by using oil filters to screen out pollutants and disinfecting your tools and work spaces.

For more information on gearbox maintenance

At Amarillo Gear Service, we work with our clients to ensure their industrial machines are functioning properly. We specialize in keeping gearboxes operational for the duration of their intended lifespan. We ensure that every unit we refurbish and repair leaves our facilities in like-new condition. If we notice potential causes of failure or malfunction during the repair stage, we notify clients via our inspection report. The result is that many of our industrial gearboxes perform better once they are returned and are less prone to damage and further problems.

Amarillo Gear Service is a division of Amarillo Gear Company, which has been in continuous operation since 1917. The name “Amarillo” has become a global benchmark for quality gears and drives that companies rely upon. For more information, give us a call at (806) 622-1273. You can also Contact Us via email and view the regions we service. We will be glad to tell you more about the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or renewal of your Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ gearboxes.

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