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Sensor is ‘first’ to monitor grease in running bearings

10 June, 2013

Schaeffler has developed a technology that, for the first time, analyses lubricating grease in rolling bearings while they running. The FAG GreaseCheck sensor monitors the condition and quantity of the grease and sounds and alarm if levels fall too low.

Schaeffler says the change from time-based to needs-based lubrication will allow action to be taken before a bearing is damaged by insufficient lubrication.

The sensor has been developed for use with the company’s Arcanol rolling bearing greases. It uses reflected infrared light to detect water content, cloudiness, thermal or mechanical wear, and temperature. Evaluation electronics generate an analogue signal from these values, keeping operators constantly informed on the condition of the grease.

The GreaseCheck sensor can be used in conjunction with Schaeffler’s SmartCheck system that monitors vibration and other parameters, and a new lubrication system called FAG Concept 8 that had eight outlets that can be activated by condition monitoring devices to dispense variable quantities of lubricant. Together they form an integrated bearing monitoring and lubrication system which is due to reach the market before the end of the year.

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