BSA Certified Bearing Specialist
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CBS: Knowledge is Power

cbsBSA's Certified Bearing Specialist (CBS) program is the only bearing industry-specific program that identifies and quantifies the specific skill sets to certify an industry professional as a bearing specialist.

Gregory (Keith) Boutwell, CBS and Executive Account Manager at B&D Technologies (a division of B&D Industrial), explains how he used his bearings expertise to save a customer thousands of dollars through correct bearing installation.

“A customer had a zone fan application with $2,000.00 worth of bearings being replaced every 4-6 weeks. I went to their location and looked at the application with a manufacturer’s representative. The manufacturer representatives’ solution was to change the grease as the bearing was running too hot. The customer had four of these fans and the investment in failures was adding up.  The customer was pretty adamant that something was not being done right as he was sure that we were not getting that many bearing failures from the manufacturer.

I got the customer a price on grease and asked that when he replaced the next bearing to let me know so I could watch the installation. As I observed the maintenance man change out the bearing, I noticed that he took the stab ring and tossed it into his tool box. I asked him about not using the stab ring and his answer was that it serves no purpose. He told me the stab ring was included just to take up space in the housing. I told him it indeed was for taking up space but it also would limit the expansion on his bearing and therefore giving him a fixed and floating bearing.

I asked him to install this one with the ring and let’s document the installation. We documented the installation and reported it to the maintenance manager. The maintenance man was insistent that adding the spacer ring would not make any difference in the operation of the bearing nor would it be the reason that the bearing was heating up. We took the old bearings to the shop and he broke it open and showed me a bearing housing full of sludge and dry matter that at one time was grease before being cooked out with the heat that was being produced. I also suggested that he install covers on the side of the bearing that was open to the elements. Fine particles of carbon black were present in all parts of the bearing.

I kept close tabs on the bearings that had been changed and asked about them about every other trip to the customer’s plant. I was always told by the maintenance manager that they had not had any problems since I had gone over with them about how to correctly install the bearings.  I was also given the chance to solve other bearing problems that they have been having. This cut into the sale of the bearings to this customer and I increased my sales of grease. But in end I developed the reputation of being a problem solver. And this brought many more opportunities.

As a result of the success I had in solving this customers problem I was able to gain his confidence and he allowed me and my supplier partners to perform training on lubrication, proper installation and preventative maintenance tips. The end result that I was hoping for has been achieved and that is that I have gained confidence in the work I have done not only by the maintenance management but by the maintenance personnel also. The maintenance man that was so adamant that what I was telling him was incorrect has become a long time friend and he will call on me and present me with other problems that he has in the plant.

Even though I have been in the bearing and power transmission market for a long I have found out that training and refresher courses on everything from type of bearings to lubrication to causes of failures will always be beneficial.  The Certified Bearing Specialist certification was an eye opener in that it encourages you to use catalogs and to find the answers to problems. Sometimes if you do not look at a problem head on and try to widen your base of knowledge you become complacent in what you are doing. The CBS program keeps you on your toes and helps to broaden your horizons by giving you an additional resource.
I have been in the bearing and power transmission business for forty-one years and I have spent the entire forty-one years in the Columbus Georgia location of B&D Technologies. No matter how long I am in this business I will always learn something new everyday.”

BSA's Certified Bearing Specialist program assures your employees have the skill set to meet customer needs. To access a CBS application, please follow this link. To order a free, informative brochure for your branches or for your HR department to help you educate your employees about the CBS program and the steps to becoming certified, please contact maryh@cmservices.com.