Reconditioning Extends Life of Axlebox Bearings

FAG Industrial Services (F'IS), the maintenance and condition monitoring division of the Schaeffler Group, is now offering rail operators a rapid reconditioning service for the company's TAROL range of axlebox bearing units.

The repair and periodic maintenance of axlebox bearing units on rail vehicles can significantly extend the life of these very heavily stressed components. As the reconditioning service is rapid, the customer benefits from minimal downtime.

The reconditioning itself consists of thorough cleaning of all bearing components, as well as dimensional and functional inspection of the complete bearing unit. The axial clearance is readjusted and the bearings are relubricated. Any worn parts are also replaced.

If requested by the customer, the axlebox bearing data can be recorded in a database for future traceability and audit purposes. This service applies to all axlebox bearings, including cylindrical, spherical and tapered roller bearings.

As well as reconditioning services, F'IS can also provide support to rail customers who are about to introduce maintenance management systems to their business. By helping to improve the customer's in-house maintenance processes, F'IS can help improve inter-departmental exchange of data, as well as eliminate wasteful processes such as the multiple entry of data into disparate IT systems and databases. This reduces materials management costs and speeds up the processing of maintenance activities.

For effective maintenance management, the rapid, efficient installation of bearing units is critical. F'IS offers a comprehensive range of energy efficient bearing heaters.

Rather than use conventional heating methods (furnaces, oil baths or heating plates), the FAG PowerTherm range of induction heaters enables customers to reduce the time it takes to fit bearings, therefore minimising downtime. Rail operators can choose between time- or temperature-based control for the heaters.

Over 100 years of experience

In close partnership with manufacturers and operators, Schaeffler Group Industrial's Rail Business Unit develops and manufactures solutions for any bearing application in rail vehicles. The product portfolio includes axlebox bearings and housings, bearings and components for traction motors and gearboxes, railcar connectors and tilting mechanisms, as well as linear motion systems for rail carriage doors.

Schaeffler Group Industrial has more than 100 years of experience in railway applications. This means it is able to offer customers comprehensive technical expertise and superior quality products that are perfectly matched for every application.

The reliability of the bearings under extreme conditions is proved on test rigs developed in-house at Schaeffler. The Rail Test Facility in Schweinfurt has been approved and certified by the German Federal Railway Authority as a test centre for rail vehicle bearing supports. In addition, it is authorised to perform tests in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2000 in the 'Performance capacity of axlebox bearings for railway applications'.

Schaeffler now IRIS certified

In August 2008, Technical Inspection Agency TÜV Süd certified that Schaeffler Group Industrial's Rail Business Unit complied with the requirements of the new International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS).

As of 2009, the possession of an IRIS certificate became a mandatory requirement for all major systems suppliers when awarding contracts. The certificate replaces the individual management system evaluations carried out by, for example, Alstom Transport, Siemens Transportation, AnsaldoBreda and Bombardier Transportation. To date, approximately 80 IRIS certificates have been issued.

The audit by TÜV Süd covered the Rail Business Unit at Schaeffler, including sales, development, design and application engineering, production and central functions such as occupational safety and quality management.

IRIS is based on ISO9001 and is now the quality standard for the railway industry, comparable to existing standards in the automotive, aerospace and food processing industries. IRIS focuses on project and configuration management, design and manufacture of rail transportation products and systems.

For more information on Schaeffler's reconditioning services for axlebox bearings, bearing heaters and other products for the railway sector, please visit or telephone the marketing department on 0121 313 5870. Alternatively, ask for a copy of TPI 158, 'Products for Railway Applications'.

With a total of 66,000 employees at over 180 locations around the globe and group sales of 8.9 billion euros (fiscal year 2008), the Schaeffler Group ( is one of the world's leading rolling bearing manufacturers and automotive component suppliers. The corporate group includes the INA Group with headquarters in Herzogenaurach, the FAG Group based in Schweinfurt as well as the LuK Group, with headquarters in Bühl.

FAG Industrial Services (FIS) is a member of the FAG Group and supports the Schaeffler Group in the UK and worldwide with industrial services including effective maintenance management and condition monitoring.

Press Release issued by:
Dean Palmer
SilverBullet PR Ltd
The Lodge, 1 Wothorpe Road,
Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2JR
Tel: 01780 753 000
Mobile: 07703 023 771

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