Design innovation to keep pace with industry advancements.

Technological advancements led to increases in bearing failures.

The sports equipment industry has become increasingly competitive, requiring technological advances to produce faster and more robust functionality. Our partner, a manufacturer in this industry, tested out a new design that resulted in bearings failing much sooner than in the previous design, sometimes within the first few minutes of operation. These bearing failures became their number two warranty claim, negatively impacting customer satisfaction and warranty costs.

Initially, excessive misaligned loading would cause the inner ring to become unseated (Left). After the redesign, in order to unseat the inner ring, the entire bearing must catastrophically fail (Right).

Partnering with the customer led to accurate diagnosis and design innovation.

We partnered with this company’s engineers and diagnosed the problem. The bearings’ endplay (internal geometry) allowed the inner and outer rings to misalign under load. This resulted in excessive load being put on the retainer of the bearing, causing failures. We made changes to the internal design of the bearing, making it 2.5 to 3 times more resistant to the loading that was forcing the misalignment.

Changes to the internal geometry of the bearing provided increased resistances to the forces causing failure.

Count on McGuire when industry changes demand design enhancement and increased performance.

Why it worked


Partnered with the customer to diagnose the problem

We spent time with the company’s engineers diagnosing the problem. We made our own test jig and were able to determine the cause of the increased failure of the bearings.


Changes made to internal design

Our engineers made changes to the internal design of the bearing. We enlarged the ball, increasing the bearing shoulder diameter. These changes increased resistance to the loading (which was forcing misalignment) by 2.5 to 3 times.


Modified parts remained compatible with existing products

Changes to the internal design of the bearing did not alter the external dimensions. This allowed the new part to be installed into both existing and older products.

The results?

Our partner is experiencing a significantly lower incidence of bearing failure. They are able to meet the demands of their customers for more resilient sporting good products without the inconvenience and expense of part failures. Curious if we can achieve similar results for you?

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