Cost down with plain bearings: The Lemken story

Lars Butenschön | 25. August 2020

Maintenance and lubrication are still a major cost driver even in today’s almost completely digitalised world of agricultural engineering. No matter how many computers monitor the machine – the dangers remain very analogous and incalculable. Dirt, corrosion and wear. As a result, end users of the devices must adhere meticulously to maintenance schedules and regularly lubricate the neuralgic points. And in the process please always use the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer. Maintaining the device costs the user money and valuable time that the expensive device could spend in the field instead of in the machine shop.

The alternative? Elaborate automatic relubrication systems. And even these are not free of maintenance. The practitioner knows: the more complex the device, the more potential for a breakdown. And if something goes wrong at first – for example, if the maintenance intervals are not adhered to, the costs are even higher. Time windows for field processing are small. The required device MUST work. Every downtime costs a lot of money. As a result, costs could be reduced by simplifying and eliminating the need for maintenance and the risk of downtime.

“In the beginning everyone laughed at us about the Karat cultivator because we wanted to use plastic at the bearing point.”

Lars Heier, Head of Marketing Lemken GmbH

The main advantage of frequently used metal plain bearings is that they carry high loads and are very tough. The main disadvantage, however, is that they are susceptible to corrosion and therefore require permanent lubrication. Contrary to what is often thought, lubrication is needed not only to reduce friction and wear, but also to protect the bearing point from corrosion and dirt. Moisture, dust and dirt are transported out of the bearing point by the lubricating paste that is continuously pressed from the inside to the outside.

Cost down with iglidur plain bearings – but how?

But what if there was an alternative? The Lemken company manufactures a wide range of equipment for tillage operations in the agricultural industry. Here, many components move in dirt and dust and are not only exposed to external influences but also to vibrations, shocks and impacts.

Find out on our website how these problems were solved and how Lemken was able to spare entire systems for relubrication of different bearing points and thus reduce costs by replacing the plain bearings.

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