02-07-2009 | BARDEN CORPORATION | PLYMOUTH UK
The Barden Corporation, a UK-based manufacturer of super-precision ball bearings, now has the added capability to manufacture a range of cylindrical roller bearings up to 150mm outside diameter. Depending on the configuration of the bearing required, this diameter can be increased to 175mm.
Since 2006, significant investment in new grinding and superfinishing machines from parent company The Schaeffler Group, has enabled Barden's manufacturing plant in Plymouth to significantly improve its machining and finishing capabilities for super-precision bearings, particularly those for demanding customer applications in the aerospace and defence industries. The new machines include production machines for external and internal grinding of inner and outer rings and for super finishing of running surfaces.
The capability to produce cylindrical roller bearings extends Barden UK's offering even further. Companies that require superprecision ball and/or cylindrical roller bearings for aircraft hydraulic systems, actuators, generators or other critical applications, can now purchase from a single source.
"Aerospace and defence companies often require bearings with unusual configurations, including special flanges, extended widths, unusual sizes, special corrosion protection, or a custom inner and outer ring," comments Ian Burnage, Operations Manager at Barden. "If needed, the bearing solution can be dedicated to a particular customer or application.
"Often, customers require these types of bearings in small volumes of between 10 and 100 pieces. The problem for the customer is that many bearing suppliers are not equipped to produce super-precision bearings and special configurations in low volumes. With our new machining capabilities, the Plymouth plant can now easily handle both ball and cylindrical roller bearing specials in line with customer requirements. It's what we excel at here," he continues.
According to Burnage, other industries such as the nuclear sector can also benefit from Barden's new machining capabilities, particularly those industries that are highly regulated and where traceability is critical.
Barden manufactures its bearings to ISO P4/P2 (ABEC 7/9) tolerance standards, which are the highest standards available in the industry today. "The ISO/ABEC dimensional envelope - down to 4 microns on bore and outside diameter - is not an issue for us," explains Burnage. "A lot of Barden's product is special and doesn't fit into the characteristics that the standards define - an integrated flange, housing or shaft may be included. Here, the geometry and tolerances are customer and application-related, and some features most definitely exceed ABEC 9 requirements. That's where Barden comes in: standard, high precision features married to special attributes tailored for specific applications. That's our contribution to the bearings industry."
A high percentage of Barden bearings are tailor-made for specific applications. The company's product range includes radial, single row, super precision, angular contact and deep groove ball bearings which meet and exceed ABEC 7/9 standards. Bearings are manufactured and controlled under strict aerospace procedures, providing full traceability, controlled lubrication and complete retention of records. Manufactured bearing sizes range from 5mm to 150+mm outside diameter. The company is capable of manufacturing bearings to a geometric tolerance of P2 or better, and envelope dimensions to P4 or better. Raceway roundness can be better than 0.5µm, with raceway surface finish better than 0.03µm Ra.
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