It’s somewhere that no engineer or maintenance team wants to be – staring down the shaft at a failed bearing. Frustrated that it happened again, and at the worst possible time. Yet it happens, more often than anyone in the maritime industry would like. In recent years, it’s been an unfortunate reality, and all that anyone could hope for was that it was discovered while your asset was in port, where you could seek out a quick fix, or furlough your workers until repairs have been made. Maybe, it happened underway, putting your crew and your customer’s cargo at risk, with no easy or quick way to make repairs. Regardless of the circumstance, you’re faced with costly unplanned downtime, mission readiness is compromised, and you have an urgent problem to address, all because of repeated bearing failure and ongoing challenges keeping your assets operationally on point.
You’re not alone. There’s a simple – old school, even – solution that can solve your bearing problems and reduce your spending on ongoing maintenance and component replacements, all while ensuring that your sea-going assets are ready for any situation. A bearing solution that is unmatched in its longevity, reliability and performance in extreme operating environments.
How is Lignum Vitae N.A. doing it? One piece of wood and one ship at a time, with water-lubricated bearings manufactured using genuine lignum vitae material. The original bearing material used in ships dating back to the 1860s, bearings made with lignum vitae material deliver low wear in abrasive water environments and have a high resistance to shock, loading and vibration. Bearings made with lignum vitae material have been documented in the INS Vikramaditya lasting more than 33 years without a single failure and reducing the need for costly ongoing maintenance. Self-lubricating, ABS and DNV-GL certified, lignum vitae bearings and seals also guarantee no harmful discharge, making them ideal for use in blue and brown water environments.
The proof is in the performance and the maritime industry is taking notice. Last year, representatives working on behalf of the Indian Navy reached out to Lignum Vitae N.A. to help ensure the mission readiness of the country’s naval fleet. Their imperative was clear: design a bearing solution that was capable of ensuring mission-critical reliability while also measurably extending the service life of the fleet to 50 years. Lignum Vitae N.A. engineers were able to respond with a bearing solution that not only replaced all of the existing bearings on the INS Vikramaditya, but restored the ship to her original design specifications with stern tube bearings made with lignum vitae material, helping the Indian Navy ensure another 33 years of uninterrupted service for this important asset.