MRO Magazine

Primer on bearing isolators published

Rock Island, IL -- David C. Orlowski, inventor of the bearing isolator (patent # 4,022,479), and founder and past p...


July 30, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Rock Island, IL — David C. Orlowski, inventor of the bearing isolator (patent # 4,022,479), and founder and past president of Inpro/Seal Company, has written a primer on bearing isolation.

The four page literature, entitled, Bearing Isolators 101 — What The Heck Is A Bearing Isolator, is part of an initiative by Inpro/Seal Company to inform end users how, bearing isolators eliminate the root cause of rotating and related equipment failure – moisture, dirt and abrasives contaminating the bearing environment.

It should prove of value to anyone involved in the management, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) of motors, machine tool spindles, turbines, fans, gear boxes, paper machine rolls, pumps and other types of rotating equipment used in industrial/process plants.

According to Orlowski, “Last year we conducted extensive research on a market-by-market, application-by-application basis. After the results were tabulated, we found that people want to know more about bearing isolators. Whether they used bearing isolators or not, whether or not they read our literature or advertising messages, the majority of the respondents stated that they wanted to know more into the basics of the product. As a direct result, I authored this primer.”


Information includes: how (and why) the bearing isolator was invented; how it works; growth and development; contact and non-contact sealing methods; low power consumption; costs; maintenance; configurations and much more.

A bearing isolator is a non-contact, non-wearing, permanent bearing protection device. It has a rotor and a stator, and the two are unitized, so that they don’t separate from one another while in use. Typically, the rotor turns with a rotating shaft, while the stator is pressed into a bearing housing. The two components interact to keep contamination out of the bearing enclosure and the lubricant in.

Protected bearings have proven to run 50,000 hours (5.7 years) or more, eliminating the need for continual maintenance and repair. Documented cases show that a plant can more than double the mean-time-between failure (MTBF) and reduce maintenance costs by at least half, with users reporting an extremely high Return On Investment (ROI).

Over one million of Inpro’s original bearing isolator designs are in operation in process plants worldwide, where end users continue to report significantly reduced operating costs with increased productivity and reliability. Bearing isolators are installed by OEM’s, retrofitted on existing equipment or specified by end users.

Recent developments include: the only product that protects rolling element bearings on paper machines from the wet end to the dry end; IEEE motors that use bearing isolators as part of their specification and the standard for bearing protection; the VBX-H Series that protects machine tool spindle bearings from coolant, chips, humidity and heat; and the Air Mizer- PS a dry sealing system provides a positive seal in applications were dry particulates, powders and bulk solids are handled, processed, packaged and stored.

For a Free copy of Bearing Isolators 101 – What The Heck Is A Bearing Isolator, contact: Inpro/Seal Company, P.O. Box 3940, Rock Island, IL 61204, 800-447-0524 or 309-787-4971, website