ACB bearings operating in the Panama Canal

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At ABS we strive to maximize the quality of our products because they convey how important our customers are to us. Each project in which we participate is a new opportunity to present the scope and guarantee of our solutions. And we are particularly proud that our ACB bearings are contributing to the optimal operation of the Panama Canal.

ABS has been supplying the Panama Canal for years with key components such as bearings for the gearboxes and wheels of the Mitsubishi locomotives (mules), one of the essential elements to ensure safe transit. These Panama Canal locomotives (mules) allow the transoceanic ships that use the locks in their transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific to stay in the center of the structures and avoid collisions against the walls. The gearboxes of these locomotives use hard-to-find bearings such as the NJ412 M C3 (Figure 2a), NJ421 M C3 (Figure 2b), and NJ418 M C3 + HJ418 (Figure 2c) cylindrical roller bearings. The latter differs in that it has a stop that allows it to withstand axial loads in both directions, as required by its application. On the other hand, the conveyor wheel shafts use bearings no longer offered by other suppliers, such as the spherical roller bearing 228708 C3 (Figure 2d), which is capable of supporting misalignment and very high radial loads.

This application requires robust, reliable, lightweight and compact components, which must also work satisfactorily in environments with high levels of contamination and humidity, as well as under sensitive variations in speed, temperature and load, and in the presence of vibrations and impacts. To meet these requirements, we manufacture our bearings with high quality steels and metallurgical cleanliness, apply heat treatments to obtain bainitic microstructures-pretensioned in compression-that prevent the propagation of microcracks, perform grinding designed to achieve special shapes in the raceways that greatly reduce contact stresses, and finally carry out rigorous quality controls to guarantee these properties.

Applications such as these demonstrate the versatility and customization capabilities of ABS and its ACB Bearings brand in the design and manufacture of industrial components capable of 100% performance in changing environments and integration into complex technologies, ensuring functionality, efficiency and long life.

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