China bearings from Hardinge


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    Default China bearings from Hardinge

    Hi There,

    I'm in the process of rebuilding the head on my 2hp vari speed BP mill. I ordered new Bearings from Hardinge expecting the best and to my horror I I just realized that all the bearings they sent me are made in China! RBI Tech Bearing brand. Some of the boxes are gold in color and look like NSK brand, the hardinge label has nsk number printed on it and I overlooked the RBI bearing text under it. The bearing wrapper says RB-tech USA on it but the bearings all have China marked on them. They didn't sell me any NSK SKF NTN or FAFNIR (no longer available?) brands.
    I feel mislead. Does anyone here have experience with the RBI brand that Hardinge sells? I'm changing all the bearings in the head and want this job to last. Should I return these and look for a name brand?

    -OT

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    Registered Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    When I rebuilt my BP clone head I ordered China bearings (not the spindle bearings). The bearings were fine, the problem was the ''grease'' they used in them. I have no idea what that stuff is, but it was like tar. My shop can get pretty cold in the winter and though I warm the machine up at low speed before putting it to work, the bearing ''grease'' was still like tar. I didn't know this of course because I ordered sealed bearings. Within a couple of years I was noticing that the drive system was getting noisy again. I didn't worry about it too much because I was getting ready to convert to direct drive. So on teardown for that project I found that the lower pulley bearing had spun in the housing due to the thick ''grease''. This necessitated building a new housing and replacing the bearings with known good ones from my local bearing vendor. Those have the proper grease in them, the grease is blue and about the consistency of Vaseline. In the end, the total cost of the bearings from my local bearing house was not that different from the cheap ones.

    Having said that, I'm going to guess that Hardinge probably sells a bit higher quality bearing than the ones I ordered from the low cost vendor....... Maybe



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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    I'm sorry to hear you had to make a new housing. I assume these were not RBI/ RB-tech?
    It's cold here in my shop as well. The bearings are still sealed so I didn't try spinning them. If these are made to their specs with the proper grease and tolerances then maybe it's okay to use them. I wonder if these are the same that they are currently putting into the heads that are built here??? I was expecting made in the USA or Japan.



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    Registered Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    I don't know who the manufacturer was, there is no name on the bearing. It's the 6010ZZ, I just happen to have it sitting on my desk. That particular bearing was about $13 from the low cost vendor, I got a SKF from my local vendor for about $15. Not much difference in price.



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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    Our guys order bearings from high quality most of the time, they probably do a head a month or two in the shop.

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk



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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    Quote Originally Posted by OT-CNC View Post
    Hi There,

    I'm in the process of rebuilding the head on my 2hp vari speed BP mill. I ordered new Bearings from Hardinge expecting the best and to my horror I I just realized that all the bearings they sent me are made in China! RBI Tech Bearing brand. Some of the boxes are gold in color and look like NSK brand, the hardinge label has nsk number printed on it and I overlooked the RBI bearing text under it. The bearing wrapper says RB-tech USA on it but the bearings all have China marked on them. They didn't sell me any NSK SKF NTN or FAFNIR (no longer available?) brands.
    I feel mislead. Does anyone here have experience with the RBI brand that Hardinge sells? I'm changing all the bearings in the head and want this job to last. Should I return these and look for a name brand?


    -OT

    Not all the Bearing made in China are Bad, most of the main Brand Name Bearing Manufactures are in China so the Bearings you have may well be quality Bearings

    Mactec54


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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    I have never heard of RBI Bearing Inc before. Maybe they are great. Maybe not. That's why I'm asking here. I think it's a red flag when something is labeled USA on the packaging and then you see the China laser etching on the product. I would feel better if it said NSK, SKF etc with county of origin China. Then at least I know its a name brand. Sorry, I'm just irritated as I was planning on moving forward on the rebuild this weekend and I really didn't think I would have to double check my purchase as I expected nothing but premium product from Hardinge. Plus, I don't ever want to change the bearings in the backgear housing again. Digging out all that grease was messy and the bearings were actually okay.



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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    BTW, mactec54, I know you did some retrofits with modified drives on the BP's. I'm entertaining the idea of overdriving the motor with a VFD on the stock vari drive. Do you have any experience on the max safe rpm that I can get out of the stock setup provided it has rebuilt vari disks and is dynamically balanced? Also,the spindle bearings are not sealed and I have modified the oil delivery to them for better lubrication. Is 5k intermittent a reasonable goal?



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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    Quote Originally Posted by OT-CNC View Post
    I have never heard of RBI Bearing Inc before. Maybe they are great. Maybe not. That's why I'm asking here. I think it's a red flag when something is labeled USA on the packaging and then you see the China laser etching on the product. I would feel better if it said NSK, SKF etc with county of origin China. Then at least I know its a name brand. Sorry, I'm just irritated as I was planning on moving forward on the rebuild this weekend and I really didn't think I would have to double check my purchase as I expected nothing but premium product from Hardinge. Plus, I don't ever want to change the bearings in the backgear housing again. Digging out all that grease was messy and the bearings were actually okay.
    You are right you should not have to check what you buy from someone like Hardinge, I would never by anything from them unless it was something you can't find from somewhere else, as for Bearings you can get them anywhere for a machine like what you have

    RBI are a US company, Headquarters are in Chicago, the Bearing manufacture they own is Wuxi R.B. Precision Bearing Co., Ltd.

    Mactec54


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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    Quote Originally Posted by OT-CNC View Post
    BTW, mactec54, I know you did some retrofits with modified drives on the BP's. I'm entertaining the idea of overdriving the motor with a VFD on the stock vari drive. Do you have any experience on the max safe rpm that I can get out of the stock setup provided it has rebuilt vari disks and is dynamically balanced? Also,the spindle bearings are not sealed and I have modified the oil delivery to them for better lubrication. Is 5k intermittent a reasonable goal?
    5,000 RPM is ok, with Grease only, these spindles will run 10,000 RPM to 12,000 RPM with Grease with a modified Head, Kluber Isoflex NBU 15 is the Grease to use for your Spindle Bearings, or any Bearings you need to Lube, you must use the correct measured amount for each Bearing, a syringe is ideal for using the right amount of Grease

    No over packing, over packing can be worse than no Grease at all

    Mactec54


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    Default Re: China bearings from Hardinge

    I buy and use lots of bearings... Like mactek54 said,,, most bearing are made outside the US of A now... As for RBI,,, if I don specify a particular brand sometimes my supplier send RBI... Don't recall having problems with them... However,,, on machine tools I typically use only Fafnir,,, now owned by Timkin... Precision bearings are marked,,, be certain to align the marks exactly and check what the preload should be... Fafnir precision spindle bearings are in a gold box... Some spindles (Bridgeport type usually) are built at the factory with only two spindle bearings but have space for four,,, I always install four... I have a pair of Fafnir's for a Type 2-J head if anyone is interested...



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