Global bearing manufacturer selects Seco/Warwick

The Seco/Warwick roller-type unit (furnace) is intended for spheroidizing annealing of bearing steel forgings for NSK. (Courtesy: Seco/Warwick)

Seco/Warwick delivered a roller-type unit (furnace) intended for spheroidizing rings for the bearing industry. The solution will be operated in the Kielce plant of the global bearing manufacturer NSK.

This is a second delivery of the same device. The first line featuring a Seco/Warwick roller-type unit has been operating in the factory for seven years. This type of equipment has technological roots in the United States. It was on that market that Seco/Warwick started its technological adventure.

The unit is intended for spheroidizing annealing of bearing steel forgings. The process line built around a roller-type furnace is intended for heat treatment of workpieces which, after the downstream processes, are assembled into bearings that are used e.g. in the automotive sector.

The entire automated process line delivered consists of a loading table with the drive, loading elevators with side handling, heating chambers and controlled cooling chambers, cooling tunnels, unloading elevators and tables, as well as the control cabinet featuring a complete automated visualization system that provides comprehensive control over the course of the production process. Such an equipment line fully guarantees total automation of the process, and perfect repeatability of the workpieces. The repeatability and the high quality are also important factors for the production of items as sensitive as bearings.

“We know that bearing production requires a huge amount of precision. The required metallographic structure can be achieved in the production process only with a strict and repeatable regime during the thermal process cycle,” said Piotr Skarbiński, vice president in charge of this product segment, Seco/Warwick Group. “That is why our production line intended for this purpose is based on the full automation of processes. This enables the elimination of all errors resulting from the human factor.

“This is the second example of our cooperation with NSK. We are delivering exactly the same product as in 2015, showing us that we are a reliable partner for them. After seven years of operation of the first system, NSK again selected Seco/Warwick. We couldn’t expect a greater compliment. We strive to be a partner that listens, solves problems, customizes the technology, and above all, meets the requirements of even the most demanding production processes,” said Skarbiński.

NSK Ltd. was established in 1916, taking over the interests of Nippon Seiko Limited Partnership Company. For more than 100 years they have been manufacturing high-quality bearings used in virtually all industries. The Polish plants of NSK manufacture rolling bearings that require a lot of precision, thus the purchase of the unit for spheroidizing annealing of bearing steel forgings that will significantly increase the capacity of the Kielce plant.

“Seco/Warwick is a pioneer of modern technologies for metal heat treatment,” said Grzegorz Banachowski, NSK. “The design of the line that we purchased enables achieving the highest strength and structural parameters of the workpieces and, most importantly, ensures production repeatability. We have selected Seco/Warwick again based on our previous positive experience and their quality that we learned ourselves. We have been operating the first device for seven years now and it still offers reliability and precision. This is why when it comes to metal heat treatment, Seco/Warwick is a good choice for us.”