How to Select Pillow Block Bearings Pillow block bearing in locking collar. Plain pillow block bearing. Standard duty pillow block. Image Credit: Abet Bearing | SKF| Emerson Bearing | Pillow block bearings, sometimes referred to as plummer block bearings, are mounted bearings that are used to provide load support for a rotating shaft. Their mounting surface is on a plane parallel and offset to the axis of the shaft. Mounting holes or slots in the base or feet of pillow...
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Q & A on Pillow Block Bearings

We asked our users for their input on Pillow Block Bearings. Here are the results of 58 users familiar with Pillow Block Bearings.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing pillow block bearing design?
8 answers
Answers:
Some technology that we have recently installed are auto lubrication systems to properly lubricate all bearings, especially the ones in hard to get areas.
~Purchasing, Norwood, MA
I am not sure, but bearing materials and types of grease must be changing things.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
Mounting methods, ease of removal and life span in harsh environments.
~Gordon B, Marine Engineer, Whangarei, New Zealand
Microprocessors controlling magnetic bearings
~Engineering, Other, Fort Collins, CO
Material of babbit Temperature monitoring
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Ability to withstand extreme temps.
~Project Management, River Rougemi, MI
Precision Machining
~William, Engineer, Seattle, WA
Lubrication
~Ken W, Manager and repairman, Brawley, CA

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative pillow block bearings?
8 answers
Answers:
IPTCI offers us a good stainless steel bearing that is a quality product and cost effective.
~Purchasing, Norwood, MA
We have only been working with NSK and Timken on our drive system
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
SKF, FAG and KOYO
~Mohammad Aliul I, Sr.Manager (Mechanica Maintenance) Power Plant, Durgapur, India
Dodge Renk
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Dodge
~Engineering, Other, Fort Collins, CO
Dodge
~William, Engineer, Seattle, WA
Skf
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Beech Island, SC
The company I work for only uses SKF so I do not know all the other bearing companies products.
~Gordon B, Marine Engineer, Whangarei, New Zealand

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used pillow block bearings for?
20 answers
Answers:
Belt feeder for coal feeding of boiler of power plant. Wet ash conditioner of Ash Handling System of power plant. Dry ash disposal system of Ash Handling System of power plant.
~Mohammad Aliul I, Sr.Manager (Mechanica Maintenance) Power Plant, Durgapur, India
My company uses pillow block bearings in many applications. They are used on conveyors and blenders in food processing machinery.
~Purchasing, Norwood, MA
Conveyer systems, Single or Double Pillow Blocks in Remote locations, Hazardous Locations, Compressor Cooling Fans.
~Fred H, Technical Sales, Automated Lubrication System Designer, Calgary, Canada
PTO Drive system, on one end of short transfer shaft, from PTO U-joint to large diameter drive pulley.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
Replaced old water cooled bearings with pillow block bearings.
~Project Management, River Rougemi, MI
For fans used in power plant & other industrial applications.
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
All sorts of machine tools and support equipment.
~William, Engineer, Seattle, WA
Roll cases, saws, hinges for gates & jib cranes.
~Alf F, Retired-machinist-millwrite-designer, Delta, Canada
Conveyor shafts, fan shaft bearings etc
~Gordon B, Marine Engineer, Whangarei, New Zealand
Farm equipment, touch free car washes
~Ken W, Manager and repairman, Brawley, CA
Large exhaust and air handlers
~Other, Spencer, MA
Motor driven fan application
~Engineering, Other, Singapore, Singapore
Axle Mounting, Drive support
~Engineering, Design, Charlotte, NC
Fans, hammer mills, conveyors
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Beech Island, SC
Conveyors, heavy machinery
~Marketing/Sales, Boise, ID
Fans, pumps, conveyors, etc.
~Engineering, Other, Fort Collins, CO
Jack shaft`s and axle`s
~Manufacturing, Port Matilda, PA
Conveyor systems
~Technical Support/Services, Auckland, New Zealand
Blower bearings
~Technical Support/Services, Portsmouth, NH
Blowers
~Charlie S, Lube technition, Gibsland, LA

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that pillow block bearings have been used for.
4 answers
Answers:
Pillow block ball bearings that are constantly wet in a car wash environment. Lower Colorado River water is very corrosive.
~Ken W, Manager and repairman, Brawley, CA
Our use has been straight-forward.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
1939 lungstrum airheater
~Project Management, River Rougemi, MI
Hinges
~Alf F, Retired-machinist-millwrite-designer, Delta, Canada

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of pillow block bearings?
4 answers
Answers:
Trying to lubricate sealed bearing and blowing out the seals.
~William, Engineer, Seattle, WA
Improper tightening of liner bolts Oil level check not done
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Crashed a fan because we were 600 rpm over max speed
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Beech Island, SC
We are still working on this one
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
6 answers
Answers:
Too many Pillow block lubrication point threads used are British Pipe; need a better supply with NPT threads, as adapters needed are hard to find, and re-tapping the threads to NPT takes a lot of time. Or at least an effort to spec the bearings with NPT threads when designing a system using pillow block bearings.
~Fred H, Technical Sales, Automated Lubrication System Designer, Calgary, Canada
As we see the bearing has one lock screw (for fixing the bearing on shaft). As per my experience we use two lock screws (both should be 180 degree to each other) that will help for better locking and balancing.
~Mohammad Aliul I, Sr.Manager (Mechanica Maintenance) Power Plant, Durgapur, India
A design that allows better and fast removal of the unit when it has been subjected to harsh environments. Better sealing of the bearing race and blocks that are less reliant on regular greasing.
~Gordon B, Marine Engineer, Whangarei, New Zealand
Standardized foot print & height - with variable liner (bore to suit shaft) fits Life of the babbitted liner Compact width Easy field replacement
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Long life, ease of assembly, great access for servicing or maintenance, sturdy frame, clean frames with accurate hole patterns, durable coatings.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
True rustless features, at a decent price.
~Ken W, Manager and repairman, Brawley, CA

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using pillow block bearings?
5 answers
Answers:
The angular misalignment is best to be as small as possible and the mounting point has to be strong as possible.
~Gordon B, Marine Engineer, Whangarei, New Zealand
Make them easy to install. On set screw locking types, make it easy to get to the Allen locking screws.
~Ken W, Manager and repairman, Brawley, CA
Specify NPT threads at the lubrication point on the pillow block bearing.
~Fred H, Technical Sales, Automated Lubrication System Designer, Calgary, Canada
Look for proper sealing arrangement, especially for harsh environments.
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Define your requirement for the locking feature.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of pillow block bearings?
3 answers
Answers:
Start / stop conditions are very critical & to be monitored Entry of ash / coal particles can damage the babbit Real time, on-line, health condition monitoring
~Satyamoorthy M, Design Engineer, Ranipet, India
Make sure the part is defined in the assembly as to be serviceable.
~Mike G, Design Engineer, Minneapolis, MN
Be sure to check the max rpm and load.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Beech Island, SC


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