GIW Switches Bearings to Improve Availability, Price, and Performance
Sometimes a seemingly small change makes a big difference to customers. This year, GIW has made just such a change: Replacing the TDO bearings in our pumps with TDI bearings. Don’t worry, the change is a simple one, and GIW will provide full support to customers as they change to the new bearing assemblies. The change will offer benefits in consistent costs and availability for GIW customers globally.
Why transition from TDO to TDI?
As a global organization (GIW’s parent company KSB has offices all over the world), GIW needs the flexibility to have multiple bearing sources around the world to provide fast availability to the customers that need them.
GIW found that there were only a few suppliers of back-to-back TDO bearings, and they didn’t always provide the level of service that GIW expected. The company moved to aftermarket parts to increase availability, but this significantly drove up costs. Since these bearings are a critical pump part, GIW decided to move to a slightly different bearing design that was far more readily available and required minimal design changes to integrate.
Switching over to the TDI bearing assemblies will benefit both GIW and its customers, explains Richard Inglett, Product Manager with GIW. For GIW, using the TDI bearings “opens up the world stage as far as having more vendors that can supply the product,” says Inglett.
Because the TDI bearing assembly has a worldwide distribution, GIW customers will be able to get replacement bearings quickly, which helps to minimize the cost and disruption of downtime. “Our pumps run some very severe-duty applications, and on occasion, [customers] wipe out the bearings,” Inglett says. “So if they can replace the bearings, they’re able to get back up and running versus trying to get a whole pump replacement.”
A simple upgrade
GIW chose to replace the back-to-back TDO bearing design with a face-to-face TDI-type bearing assembly. The design of GIW pumps allows for a straightforward swap of the bearing assembly. For example, if a customer has a pump with a 100mm bearing, the customer can swap it out for the new TDI 100mm bearing, and the rest of the pump parts stay the same.
The primary differences between the original back-to-back TDO and the new face-to-face TDI bearing assemblies include
- drive-side bearing,
- drive-side end cover,
- bearing housing, and
Changes in availability
Because some customers might not be ready to make a switch, GIW will allow component parts for operating back-to-back TDO bearing assemblies to remain available for 10 years, with the exception of bearing housings and shafts. GIW’s directive is to upgrade to the TDI bearing if the bearing housing or shaft is damaged. Going forward, GIW will inactivate all standard pump assemblies that contain back-to-back TDO bearing assemblies.
In addition, GIW is phasing out the 35mm shaft/bearing combination. The company found that only a few customers were using this size, so that the per-unit cost was higher than for larger sizes. Also, the 35mm shaft/bearing combination was not as well suited to mechanical seals as the 50mm size. The 50mm shaft/bearing can handle more horsepower and supports a mechanical seal, allowing for significant reduction in water use. GIW will continue to supply 35mm bearings while their inventory lasts; then all 35mm bearing assemblies will be upgraded to 50mm. This upgrade will require replacements of the impeller and shaft seal in addition to the bearing assembly.
Inglett emphasizes that GIW will support customers fully through the transition to the TDI bearing assemblies and will make the change-over as seamless as possible.