Reduce Restaurant Equipment Repairs by Maintaining Ball Bearings.
Restaurant equipment repairs typically get identified when you hear an odd sound or strange vibration. Your food equipment is the backbone of your kitchen. Meat slicers, standup mixers, blenders, food processors, immersion blenders, etc. are all critical to your production and kitchen efficiency. Properly maintained and running equipment of this type displays the following characteristics:
- Quiet when running, with smooth motor hum (normal (quiet) noise level is relative depending on type of equipment)
- Warm, but not hot under normal operating conditions
- Smooth and true rotation of blades or attachments without visible wobble or bob
- Low vibration when motor is running.
The key component(s) in these types of equipment are the ball bearings which support the motor and shaft assemblies while the equipment is switched on and the motor is turning the shaft. Bearings that are in good condition and properly lubricated run smoothly, with low friction, or resistance. This allows the motor shaft to turn smoothly, operate with low heat and vibration, and sound quiet when not under load (slicing, mixing, etc.).
Moisture is the enemy of bearings. Food juices, steam, and water can damage bearings by allowing rust or wear on the small metal balls which are the key components in each bearing assembly. As these balls rust or wear they lose their precise spherical shape and size, and become misshapen and rough. Ways to protect your equipment against moisture include:
- Don’t pressure wash or immerse in water your motorized food equipment when cleaning
- Try to locate your equipment away from standing moisture or steam tables
- Clean and wipe away food juices or cleaning liquids after use or cleaning
- Do not store liquids or food in the equipment for extended periods
- Do not leave immersion blenders resting in liquids for extended periods when not operating.
Bearings that are rough and misshapen do not turn smoothly in their assembly and will lead to a rumbling noise coming from the equipment when running. A screeching or screaming sound usually means the combination of worn bearings and low/no lubrication as well in the bearing. A rumbling or screechy sound when your equipment is turned on is a strong indicator that your bearings are worn out and need to be replaced.
Worn bearing generate friction….and this creates heat when the motor is turning. This bearing heat, along with the extra resistance, causes the motor to work harder and hotter as well. That is why heat under normal operating conditions can be a sign of worn out bearings that need replacement as well.
Worn bearings lose their original tightness and size and no longer cradle the shaft or motor assembly securely. This can allow the shaft assembly to visibly wobble or bob when running. It can also cause the motor, shaft, and entire piece of equipment to vibrate. Signs of shaft wobble or vibration mean your bearings may be worn out and need to be replaced.
Worn bearings are a problem for the following reasons:
- They can put an extra load on the motor and electrical components eventually causing failure and the need for very expensive repairs.
- They can cause wobble or vibration in the shaft assembly which turns the blades, causing potentially expensive wear in blades, shafts, seals, and sometimes the body of the machine itself leading to a need to prematurely retire and replace the piece of equipment.
- Wobble and vibration can cause poor equipment performance, blade deflection, and heat which can result in uneven output quality on processed food, variable thickness or consistency in sliced or mixed product, and the addition of unwanted heat to mixed or ground product/meat which reduces shelf life and alters product appearance.
If your motorized food equipment displays any of the worn bearing warning signs of noise, heat, or vibration than you should contact the food equipment maintenance/repair experts at Diamond Sharp for a professional fix. They specialize in processing and blade-containing food equipment and can quickly assess your problem, replace and lubricate worn bearings, and get your equipment back up and running like new. They also provide warranty and factory-authorized maintenance and repairs on a number of equipment lines including:
- Robot Coupe
- Bar Maid
Chefs’ Toys is proud to work with Diamond Sharp to provide excellent restaurant equipment repair service for our foodservice customers. Contact them at 1-800-400-6414 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of their friendly technicians can discuss your equipment concerns and determine if it needs to come in for repair. Equipment to be repaired can be dropped off at one of the Diamond Sharp or any of the 7 Chefs’ Toys locations, or can be picked up at your facility location (nominal pickup/delivery fee may apply) for assessment and repair.