Navigating the Depths of Mining Industry: Bearings, Repairs, and Modifications

Ben WallsWritten by Ben Walls

In the heart of the mining industry, where innovation meets the rugged challenges of extraction, bearings are the unsung heroes beneath the surface. The power, precision, and advancements of these mighty components are transforming the mining game. Join us as we dig deep, literally and figuratively, into the dynamic world of bearings in the mining industry.

The mining industry operates in some of the harshest environments on Earth, presenting significant challenges to both workers and equipment. These environments can include extreme temperatures, high altitudes, dust, water, and chemical exposure, all of which take a toll on the mining equipment and machinery.

Bearings play a critical role by providing support, reducing friction, and enabling smooth rotational movement for various mining equipment. They are essential components in machinery used for extraction, transportation, and processing of minerals and materials.

Equipment Reliability and Uptime: Mining operations rely heavily on heavy machinery such as crushers, conveyors, grinding mills, and excavators. These machines must operate continuously to maximize productivity. Bearings help ensure the reliable operation of these equipment by minimizing downtime due to component failure.

Reduced Friction and Wear: Bearings reduce friction between moving parts, preventing excessive wear and extending the lifespan of mining equipment. In harsh mining environments, where dust, dirt, and debris are common, properly sealed and lubricated bearings are crucial to prevent premature failure.

Load Support: Mining machinery often deals with heavy loads, shocks, and vibrations. Bearings provide load support, distributing the weight and stresses evenly across the components, which prevents damage and extends equipment life.

Energy Efficiency: Well-maintained bearings contribute to energy efficiency. Reduced friction means less energy is wasted as heat, resulting in lower energy consumption and operating costs.

Safety: Mining operations can be hazardous, and unexpected equipment failures can lead to accidents. Reliable bearings help ensure the safe operation of machines, protecting both equipment operators and other personnel working in the vicinity.

Environmental Impact: Mining companies are increasingly focused on sustainable practices. Reliable bearings result in fewer equipment replacements and less waste generation, contributing to reduced environmental impact.

Cost Savings: Bearings are a relatively small investment compared to the overall cost of mining equipment. However, their failure can lead to costly repairs, replacement, and production interruptions. Regular maintenance and high-quality bearings can lead to significant long-term cost savings.

In this Blog, our Industry Spotlight shines on the Mining Industry and how bearings play a crucial role and how the products and services BDS and BMC provide can keep your customers up and running.


MINING INDUSTRY:  Advancements

Advancements in bearing technology for the mining industry have been driven by the need for increased efficiency, reliability, and safety in mining operations. 

  • Advanced Materials: Bearings are being developed using advanced materials that offer improved durability, corrosion resistance, and temperature tolerance. Ceramic bearings and specialized coatings are examples of such advancements.

  • Sealing Technology: Seals play a crucial role in preventing contaminants from entering bearings, especially in harsh mining environments. Advancements in sealing technology help extend bearing life and reduce maintenance requirements.

  • Smart Bearings: Integration of sensors into bearings allows for real-time monitoring of bearing health and performance. This data can be used to predict potential failures, optimize maintenance schedules, and improve overall operational efficiency.

  • Lubrication: Improved lubrication techniques and materials are being developed to enhance the performance of bearings in mining operations. Proper lubrication is essential for minimizing friction 
    My project (12) and wear.

  • Design Optimization: Bearings are being designed using advanced computational techniques to ensure optimal load distribution, reduced friction, and improved overall performance.

  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Mining companies are increasingly focused on sustainability. Bearings with reduced friction and energy consumption contribute to more environmentally friendly operations.

  • Automation and Robotics: As mining operations become more automated and reliant on robotics, bearings that can withstand the unique stresses of these applications are being developed.

  • Remote Monitoring and Maintenance: Bearings equipped with remote monitoring capabilities enable maintenance teams to assess their condition without being physically present at the site. This can lead to quicker response times and reduced downtime.

Visit our website and check out our other blogs to learn more about many of these advancements, including ceramic bearings, smart bearings and lubrication techniques. 


MINING INDUSTRY:  Large Bore Bearing Repairs

Large bore bearings are critical components in mining equipment, supporting heavy loads and providing smooth rotation.  In the harsh environments of the mining industry, these types of bearings will need repair or replacement during their useable life.  Repairing bearings is often more cost-effective thanLarge Bore Bearings purchasing new ones, especially for large bearings that can be quite expensive. This can lead to significant cost savings for mining companies.

In an industry where time is money, repairs can be done faster than waiting for new replacements to arrive.  In turn, this reduces equipment downtime, which is crucial. Repairing bearings also aligns with sustainability efforts, as it reduces the demand for new manufacturing and the associated resource consumption. 

Here are 14 general steps and considerations when repairing large bore bearings:

  1. Inspection and Assessment:  Begin by thoroughly inspecting the damaged bearing to identify the extent of the damage and the underlying causes.  Assess the condition of the surrounding components, such as seals and lubrication systems, as they may also contribute to bearing damage.

  2. Disassembly:  Carefully disassemble the bearing, documenting the process to ensure proper reassembly.  Take note of any signs of misalignment, contamination, or inadequate lubrication during disassembly.

  3. Cleaning:  Clean all components thoroughly to remove contaminants, old lubricants, and debris.  Inspect the housing and shaft for any signs of wear or damage that may have contributed to the bearing failure.

  4. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT):  Consider using non-destructive testing methods, such as ultrasonic or magnetic particle testing, to identify hidden defects or cracks in critical components.

  5. Repair Options: Depending on the extent of the damage, consider repair options such as re-machining, overlay welding, or replacing damaged components.  Consult with bearing manufacturers or specialized repair facilities for guidance on the most suitable repair method.

  6. Bearing Reconditioning:  If possible, recondition the bearing components through processes like grinding or lapping to restore proper geometry and surface finish.

  7. Replacement Parts:  Use high-quality replacement parts, and ensure they meet or exceed the original specifications.  Consider upgrading to bearings with improved materials or coatings for better performance and durability.

  8. Lubrication:  Implement a robust lubrication program, ensuring that the bearing receives the appropriate type and amount of lubricant. Monitor lubrication conditions regularly to prevent future issues.

  9. Alignment:  Ensure proper alignment of the bearing and associated components to prevent uneven loading and premature wear.

  10. Installation:  Follow manufacturer guidelines for proper installation, including torque specifications and preloading, to ensure optimal performance.

  11. Monitoring:  Implement a comprehensive monitoring program using vibration analysis, temperature monitoring, and other relevant techniques to detect early signs of potential issues.

  12. Documentation:  Maintain detailed records of the repair process, including inspection reports, repair procedures, and any modifications made to the equipment.

  13. Training and Safety:  Ensure that personnel involved in the repair process are well-trained and follow safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries.

  14. Continuous Improvement:  Periodically review and update maintenance practices based on performance data and industry best practices to continuously improve the reliability of large bore bearings.

At BMC, we have specialized expertise in bearing repair, ensuring that repaired bearings meet or exceed original equipment specifications.  Visit our website or contact one of our bearing experts to find out how we canLogo BMC provide bearing repair solutions for you and your customers.

MINING INDUSTRY:  Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered Roller Bearings are critical components in various industries, including the mining industry, due to their unique design and capabilities that make them well-suited for handling heavy loads, shock loads, and challenging environmental conditions.  These types of bearings are used in a wide range of mining equipment, such as rock crushers, shaker screens, hoists, conveyors, and more. Their versatility makes them indispensable in ensuring the smooth operation of these machines.
FAG Tapered Roller Bearing

Heavy Load Handling: Mining equipment such as crushers, conveyors, and ore processing machinery often deal with heavy loads generated by the extracted materials. Tapered roller bearings are designed to handle both radial and axial loads, making them suitable for applications where heavy loads are a constant challenge.

Shock Load Resistance: Mining operations can result in sudden and unpredictable shock loads due to the impact of materials and equipment. Tapered roller bearings are engineered to distribute these loads more evenly.

Durability and Longevity: The design of tapered roller bearings allows them to accommodate misalignment and shaft deflection, which can occur in harsh mining environments.

Temperature Variations: Mining environments often involve extreme temperature variations, such as in underground mines. Tapered roller bearings are designed to handle both high and low temperature ranges, ensuring consistent performance across varying conditions.

Contaminant Protection: Mining environments can expose bearings to dust, dirt, moisture, and other contaminants that can compromise bearing performance. Tapered roller bearings can be equipped with seals and shields to help protect against these contaminants.

Reduced Maintenance Downtime: The robust nature of tapered roller bearings can lead to longer intervals between maintenance and replacement, reducing downtime for maintenance and improving the overall efficiency of mining operations.

To learn more about our vast inventory of tapered roller bearings and how BDS can provide the bearing solution you need for your mining industry customers, just visit our website or give one of our highly
knowledgeable sales representatives a call. bds-logo-1


MINING INDUSTRY:  Bearing Modifications

BMC offers many modifications for the mining industry including clearance changes, straight to taper bore(1:12 or 1:30), anti-rotation/locating holes or notches, lubrication holes and grooves (W33 & W26), add lifting holes and many more.

DSC04836Lifting holes 2






Along with our modification services we also offer full repairs on cylindrical roller bearings. This process involves a thorough inspections report complete with pictures sent to you along with a quote for repair. We have multiple levels of repair that we can offer from polishing to full rebuild with newly manufactured components.

BMC can also manufacture new bearings per customer’s requirements. We can reverse engineer obsolete bearings to make new bearings with domestic materials.

For more information visit or give one of our highly knowledgeable sales representatives a call and see how we can find a bearing solution for you. Logo BMC


Bearings are integral to the mining industry, offering support, reliability, and efficiency in the operation of heavy machinery and equipment. Their role in minimizing friction, reducing wear, and contributing to the overall safety and productivity of mining operations is indispensable.  From our extensive inventory to our expert modification and repairs services, BDS and BMC have the resources to find a bearing solution that is right for your mining industry customers.   To learn more, contact one of our sales professionals and see what we can do for you.

Ben Walls

Ben Walls

With 15 years of experience, Ben can operate a wide array of manual and CNC grinding machines. He thoroughly understands and applies grinding theory, continuous improvement, and process development every day. In addition, Ben specializes in bearing modification, repair, and manufacturing.

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