Aug 12, 2022

BI a proud distributor of Cooper split bearings for 85 years

Leading supplier Bearings International (BI) has been distributing Cooper split bearings into the Southern African market for the past 85 years. “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,” comments Product Development Leader Matthew Tyler. Cooper Roller Bearings is a globally recognised expert in the design, manufacture, and supply of specialist bearings since 1907. It has been distributed regionally by authorised distributor BI since 1937.

In addition to this achievement, BI continues to grow the market for the brand, notes Marchant Taylor, Business Unit Leader for Bearings. “You will find that close to 100% of Cooper split bearings in the 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 have peace of mind BI can meet all their Cooper split bearing requirements in that the supplier not only has the biggest stockholding in Africa but is probably 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,” adds 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 it can offer its customers complete solutions.

The advantage of the new angled support pedestal introduced by Cooper is that it reduces installation time dramatically. 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. However, with the Cooper split bearing, the time taken is slashed to four hours.

“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,” says Tyler. Cooper’s latest innovation has been to phase out the aluminium cage in order 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 the year. This simple change has the dramatic impact of 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,” assures Tyler. Looking to the future, he says BI plans to bolster its stockholding of fast-moving and critical components even further.