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March 7, 2010

How Ball Bearings are Made

at 7:47 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment

We use ball bearings all the time. They are used in everything from CNC machines to cars. After you see how much work goes into making one the price of a few dollars seems like such a deal!

This article is brought to you by NMB Tech, makers of a quality ball bearing fan.


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13 Responses to “How Ball Bearings are Made”

  1. Adam Says:

    That is unreal

  2. Fry-kun Says:

    That’s funny, I first looked up this video a few weeks ago while wondering why bearings cost so much 🙂

  3. Namlak Says:

    I’ve seen this episode on TV and they didn’t answer the one question I wanted to know the answer to – how do they get the balls between the inner and outer raceways? In the video, they just drop in (at 2:39) but I don’t see how you can do that without insertion slots or asymmetrical raceways other than maybe thermal expansion and contraction to get just enough clearance.

  4. Fry-kun Says:

    I was wondering that too, at first, but if you look at the closeup right after — the balls are spread out from one location to the rest of the bearing.
    Basically, the inner ring is offset to one side to allow the balls to be placed like so: (o())
    When they’re spread out evenly, the balls align the inner ring to the center: (o()o)

  5. Inventorjack Says:

    I love videos about how things are made, but I think this may be the most fascinating one I’ve yet seen. I’d always wondered how bearings are made, how they keep the balls in place, how the balls are made and smoothed, etc. Thanks so much for sharing this video!

  6. Pouncer Says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Namlak. I had missed that, and was wondering the same thing.

  7. the_third_kind Says:

    Fascinating vid… Those are big bearings… imagine how they make one of those tiny tiny bearings in computers and rc cars… I bet they’re a pain in the a** to make…

  8. Andre Says:

    I think thats top secret if they tell you how to do it, they will go out of business.

  9. Fry-kun Says:

    Why do you think the process is any different for small bearings?
    The entire process is mechanised, I’d imagine they would simply scale the machinery

  10. the_third_kind Says:

    @ Fry-kun
    Maybe… but I just wished someone have a video of it. On smaller bearings the balls could be less than a milimeter so they might use an entirely different method of production…

  11. Whatnot Says:

    I agree it’s an interesting program but often I feel there are a lot of wasteful steps and/or labour involved, and it’s nice for people to have jobs but it’s often such monotonous and pointless work which a simple machine could do.

    And I find the woman’s pronunciation/voice with it hard to bear, I find it’s an effort to listen to her, so I just watch the ones narrated by tony hirst who is so much better at it and doesn’t make you feel tense.

  12. Online Bidding Says:

    Whatnot you re right. its monotonous and pointless work which a machine can do!

  13. Stu Says:

    Teehee! I always wondered what the voice sounded like for this programme in the US/Canada. In the UK its this guy ‘Whatnot’ pointed out and he’s done it since day one over here.
    Is this the voice for both Canada and the US?
    Is it always a woman narrating it? I think its kind of good, makes her sound clever 😉
    And as ‘Whatnot’ suggests, does Tony Hirst narrate episodes shown in the US/Canada? I wonder what the arrangement is there.

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