A new smartphone app that helps simplify precision bearing selection and protect against counterfeit products has been launched by NSK.
The bearings firm developed the app in line with the rise of smart factory and Industry 4.0 initiatives, which are accelerating digitalisation in manufacturing industry.
Its launch will coincide with the first shipments of NSK precision bearings in packaging that features unique 2D barcodes.
Users of the app will be able to scan the barcode with their smartphone for instant access to information such as the product’s individual identification number, date of manufacture, bearing inspection record, dimensional tolerances, running accuracy, grease type and other technical details.
As machines are further integrated with computer systems and equipped with wireless capabilities, easy, instant access to digital information is becoming an essential part of efficient operations, the company emphasises.
Product data highlighted by the app can be exported in CSV and PDF formats, allowing the information to be transferred easily to the customer’s systems. This capability is said to contribute to increased efficiency in the overall process of assembling bearings to spindles, and can help to improve product traceability for more automated, IT based management.
The app also helps protect customers from counterfeit products with several features including an NSK cloud system safeguarding against fake products. Scanning the barcode reveals if a product is suspected to be counterfeit by checking it against a database.
Launched this month and compatible with iOS and Android devices, the app will be available in English, Japanese and Chinese. It currently supports precision bearings (ISO class 5 and up) with a bore diameter of more than 30mm, such as those used in machine tools. Types include angular contact ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings and angular contact thrust ball bearings.
The service will later be expanded to other NSK products. For products manufactured at the company’s UK plant in Newark, the app will be released in January 2019.
In addition, the app provides easy access to various web services to facilitate, for example, quicker responses to technical enquiries. It can provide a host of technical tools and practical information such as digital catalogues, technical bearing calculators and handling and maintenance guides.