When choosing conveyor components, longevity should be one of your primary concerns. Products that last longer cost less money to maintain over months and years, and therefore improve your business's bottom line. Idlers are a key factor in meeting quotas and enhancing productivity.

It is our opinion that today’s idlers have a lower load carrying capacity and a shorter design life when compared to idlers manufactured prior to 1996, and this is costing you more over time.

Why? In 1996, Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) accepted new design criteria for conveyor idlers.  This change enabled manufacturers to build idlers with inadequately sized “sealed for life” ball bearings when comparing it to the tapered roller bearing idler.

Since the early 1900’s, US manufacturers have built idlers with tapered roller bearings. The tapered roller bearing has at least 2 times greater load carrying capacity than a ball bearing of equal shaft diameter.  Furthermore, when comparing similar sized tapered roller bearings to ball bearings under the same load, the bearing life of a tapered roller bearing is exponentially greater than that of a ball bearing.

Unfortunately, due to its inherent design, the tapered roller bearing must be frequently lubricated. In addition, tapered roller bearings have very little misalignment capability and must be de-rated when misalignment occurs.  (Misalignment occurs during the manufacturing process, as well as the operational process due to shaft deflection.)

We agree “Sealed for Life” ball bearings are exceptional alternatives to the tapered roller bearing.

We simply disagree with manufacturers’ interpretation of the CEMA criteria on the size of the ball bearing they use.

Our MD30 (Mine Duty CEMA C) and our MD35 (Mine Duty CEMA D) were developed to utilize the benefits of the ball bearing design and to provide idler life equal to, or, greater than the tapered roller bearing design.

The MD30 idler utilizes a 30mm ball bearing and axle design compared to today’s 20mm ball bearing and axle; resulting in up to 4 times greater bearing life. The MD35 idler utilizes a 35mm ball bearing and axle design compared to 25mm; resulting in 3.3 times greater bearing life.

Reduce Maintenance with an Improved Class of Idlers

Each time an idler is disabled on the conveyor belt, your company loses money and time through decreased productivity and increased equipment costs. These costs consume profits that can be applied elsewhere. An improved class of idlers will add to your bottom line.