When you bring a new product to market, a short supply of a key part can have cascading effects on its rollout, disrupting your production schedule and time to market, costing you sales opportunities and damaging your company’s reputation. With so much at stake, choosing a motion component for your product often comes down to how much you trust the supplier. And when a supplier fulfills an order and exceeds your expectations, there’s no substitute for the peace of mind you’ll have for future orders.
Here’s a perfect example of how we routinely earn our customer trust. Recently a large manufacturer of fluid handling products needed to incorporate a rotary bearing device into a new grease pump. The distributor and end user were not sure IKO could support their requirements but approached us with the need. The IKO team worked with them to help solve their problem. Based on the part’s size and thermal requirements, our sales engineers recommended the IKO LRT Series inner ring.
IKO designed the LRT Series for machined-type needle roller bearings in applications where it is impossible to make shaft surfaces to a specified surface hardness or surface roughness, making it suitable to use as a bearing race surface. Its carbon steel inner ring is heat treated and ground to a high degree of accuracy, creating an optimal contact surface that doesn’t wear prematurely. Metric-type LRT Series inner rings are available with shaft diameters from 5 to 440 millimeters.
Going the Extra Mile
The distributor placed an initial order of 700 LRT Series inner rings for the anticipated demand. However, sales of the new grease pump exceeded the manufacturer’s expectations, and so the distributor placed an expedited order for an additional 700 parts. Because the LRT Series is one of our best-selling rotary motion products, additional supply of the part would not be available until after the customer’s target production date. But, thanks to our global presence, we were able to obtain the urgently needed parts from one of our overseas facilities to fulfill the order.
The manufacturer reports that the increased production of the new grease pump is successfully moving forward, and the LRT Series inner ring is performing well in the field. Both the manufacturer and distributor are happy with the inner ring, as well as with the technical sales and service we provided. They expect to double the size of their next order with us and are exploring ways to build on the initial success of the grease pump using IKO parts in other new products under development.
Not every motion component manufacturer would have been able to handle the grease pump manufacturer’s unexpected demand for inner rings. However, IKO has the capabilities and reach to respond quickly to customer problems that call for extraordinary service — even in times when supply chains are under pressure.
For more information about the LRT Series inner rings, visit our product page.