Motion Control & Drives


Proud milestone for Bearings International

July 2022 Motion Control & Drives

Bearings International (BI) has been distributing Cooper split bearings into the southern African market for the past 85 years, an achievement which BI product development leader, Matthew Tyler, is justifiably proud of. “We are definitely one of the longest-serving Cooper distributors in the world. It is a fantastic achievement, especially as it remains one of our top-selling brands,” he commented.


Mathew Tyler.


Marchant Taylor.

Cooper Roller Bearings is a globally recognised expert in the design, manufacture and supply of specialist bearings since 1907, and its products have been distributed regionally by BI since 1937. Not content to rest on its laurels, the company’s business unit leader for bearings, Marchant Taylor, said BI continues to grow the market for the brand: “You will find that close to 100% of Cooper split bearings in the local market today have been supplied by BI over the years. However, we continue along a steady growth trajectory due to our extensive application history and footprint with the product, ranging from wastewater treatment to mining and the sugar industry.”

Customers can be assured of peace of mind that BI can meet all their Cooper split bearing requirements, in that the supplier not only has the biggest stockholding in Africa, but is likely one of the largest stockists in the world. “Due to current lead times of about 16 weeks due to global supply chain constraints, such an extensive stockholding gives us a major advantage,” added Tyler. It also allows BI to be a major player in the refurbishment and replacement market, especially as it carries the full range of pedestals, cartridges, bearings and seals so that it can offer its customers complete solutions.

Angled support pedestal

The advantage of the new angled support pedestal introduced by Cooper is that it dramatically reduces installation time. For example, it can take up to 20 hours to change a traditional bearing on a critical application such as a conveyor main drive on a pulley, whereas with the Cooper split bearing, this is slashed to four hours.


Cooper’s new angled support pedestal reduces installation time.

“The main benefit of the angled pedestal is that it is very easy to install, in that the pedestal slides underneath the shaft and simply pulls everything down the shaft,” explained Tyler. Cooper’s latest innovation has been to phase out the aluminium cage to increase the load-carrying capacity of the bearing. It is introducing a pressed steel cage for bearings up to 100 mm and a brass cage for the rest of the range, a development that will be finalised by the end of 2022. This simple change has a dramatic impact, potentially extending bearing life by up to 60%.

“The boundary dimensions of the bearing are still the same, and it is only the internal design that has changed. Thus, if you have an existing bearing running with an aluminium cage, the new bearing will still fit into the same cartridge and there will be no dimensional changes,” Tyler assured. Looking to the future, he said BI plans to bolster its stockholding of fast-moving and critical components even further.


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