Bearing Design Innovation Eliminates Need for Costly Precision Shafting

Bearing Design Innovation Eliminates Need for Costly Precision Shafting

Attaining cost reduction, while maintaining top-level performance, is typically an unrealistic objective. The phrases “you get what you pay for” and “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” often come to mind, meaning, you can’t have both affordability AND quality.

However, according to Regal, acquiring a deeper understanding of customer needs and behaviors inspired them to improve upon an already-proven design with the Next Generation Sealmaster SKWEZLOC®—an innovative concentric locking collar that gives customers the best of both worlds. Here’s how…

Concentric Locking vs. Precision Shafting

Regal Sealmaster Brand Innovates Concentric Locking

Originally developed and patented in 1966, the Sealmaster SKWEZLOC concentric lock set the standard for concentric locking. The innovative design of the bearing’s inner ring, together with a split locking collar, allowed users to obtain a near-perfect concentric fit to the shaft, with likewise near-perfect raceway roundness and reduced fretting corrosion. These carefully-designed features worked together to help the bearing run with less noise and vibration, with potential for higher operating speeds compared to standard setscrew locking. Plus, this design eliminated the marring of shafts that occurs with traditional setscrew locking.

However, in order to achieve these performance features, it was necessary to maintain an accurate and controlled fit between the shaft and bearing bore; This required the use of turned, ground and polished (TG&P) shafting, which has more tightly controlled tolerances.  It should be noted that this is also the same grade of shafting as recommended for traditional setscrew locking design.

Regal observed that, in some cases, customers would choose to use turned and polished (T&P) shafting, sometimes referred to as “commercial grade” shafting.  This was, typically, due to lower cost and/or availability.  The T&P shafting has a wider tolerance band on the nominal diameter, as can be seen in the below chart. This increased tolerance band can reduce the precision of the fit to the bearing bore, which can then lead to loss of lock issues and reduced in-application bearing performance.

Shaft Diameter Precision Tolerance Range Turned, Ground & Polished (TG&P Shafting) Commercial Tolerance Range** Turned & Polished (T&P Shafting)
1/2” to 2” +.0000 / -.0005” +.000 / -.003”
2 1/8” to 2 7/16” +.0000 / -.0010” +.000 / -.004”

Regal saw and understood the customers’ need for lower cost and more readily available shafting. They recognized the benefit to the customer if they could solve this problem and, in response, ​ redesigned the Sealmaster SKWEZLOC concentric lock to accommodate the commercial-grade turned & polished (T&P) shaft tolerances that customers were already using.​ As a result of being tailored to customer needs and functionality, the SKWEZLOC offers the following advantages:

  • Cost savings with minimal effort/process changes
  • Improved overall machine reliability by maximizing the operational life of its components
  • Excess downtime eliminated from waiting on purchase, delivery and installation of new​ TG&P shafting
More: What If There Was An Easier Way To Remove Bearings From A Shaft?

Improve Lock Reliability & Reduce Replacement Shafting Cost With The Next Generation SKWEZLOC ⮚

Concentric Locking vs. Precision Shafting

The Next Generation SKWEZLOC concentric locking collar design continues to not only provide near-perfect concentricity of the shaft-to-bearing bore, but also maintain near-perfect ball path roundness. It accomplishes these operational efficiencies all the while reducing fretting corrosion, eliminating shaft damage with setscrew locking and minimizing bearing-induced vibration for smoother, quieter operation.


  • Innovative circumferential groove on the inner ring bore that improves shaft grip and reduces raceway distortion for quieter smoother operation allowing for improved lock reliability.
  • Improved clamping force to shaft, via larger collar and larger head TORX Plus® cap screw (outlasts stripping 12 times longer than standard head screws).
  • Same simple single screw installation, no axial movement during installation or risk of preloading the bearing which are concerns when using an adapter lock design.
  • Patented design.
  • Designed for use on “commercial” T&P shafting, as opposed to TG&P shafting, offering potential user cost reduction on shafting by specifying “commercial” tolerances.
    *Note – Maximum speed rating on Commercial (T&P) shafting equal to setscrew locking, consult bearing catalog.

Want to Calculate the Total Cost Savings of Using Low-Cost Commercial Tolerance Shafting?

For tools on how to easily calculate the total cost of ownership savings of using low-cost commercial tolerance shafting and the Next Generation Sealmaster SKWEZLOC, send us a message or give us a call at 913-677-3151 today!


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