Upgrade Your Old Spring-Bed Bearings to Kingsbury Pivoted Shoe Thrust Bearings for Higher Load Capacity and Years of Reliable Operation.

Kingsbury fluid film thrust bearings provide several advantages over spring-bed bearings to increase the performance and service life of your hydropower equipment while reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

We will expertly retrofit your failing spring-bed bearings with one of three hydroelectric bearing solutions – VK Non-Equalizing Tilt Pad Thrust; KBV Self-Equalizing Tilt Pad Thrust; and the Segmented Shoe Spring-Supported Bearing (for easy upgrade to high pressure oil lift).

Kingsbury has a vast installed base of successful upgrades and can provide the following:

  • High pressure lift skids are in stock and a plumbing package can be provided within 4 weeks after receipt of order
  • Design-validated templates that can be produced in 8 to 12 weeks to fit within your next outage window
  • Bearings that are reliable under variable loads and operating conditions
  • Extensive field service and technical support that includes troubleshooting, inspection, field repairs, bearing installation and start-up
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Worn Spring Bed Bearing
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KPV Replacement Bearing



Spring Bed Bearing Retrofit Project

In 2006, technicians from Kingsbury's Repair & Service Division were consulted by a utility company in the southern USA about revamping (7) 56" [1.42m] GE spring bed thrust bearings that had been in service at a hydroelectric generating station for more than 70 years.

Kingsbury technicians discovered that one bearing had seized and broken the anti-rotation mechanism. The cooling coil was also destroyed. This, in turn, contaminated the oil supply common to other machinery along the same lubrication system, causing problems to that equipment as well.

Fortunately for the utility company, Kingsbury's decades of experience with rehabilitating machinery outfitted with spring-plate bearings enabled our technicians to take on the project.

Over time, the springs used in such applications begin to lose their elasticity, which in turn limits the ability to form the pressurized film of oil that is essential to the bearing's operation.

To address this common problem, Kingsbury engineers designed a retrofit KBV-style bearing to fit in the same envelope as the existing one, but with the added advantage of individual tilting pads supported on a series of leveling plates to provide misalignment capability and compensate for minor shaft wobble.

After the successful installation of the first bearing in 2006, the utility issued an order for the remaining six sets in 2011. We received the used parts from the third set, and have scheduled the subsequent sets to be retrofitted every six to nine months. For each set, the customer will send us the existing housing, cooling bundle, spring bed bearing and thrust runner. We will evaluate and repair the thrust blocks and their runners, clean and paint the housings, and repair or replace the cooling bundles. We will also make new 56" KBV-style thrust bearings, complete with high pressure lifts, to replace the original bearings. The revamped assemblies will be shipped to the site, and if necessary, we will provide field service technicians to supervise the installation.

To learn more about Kingsbury's Hydro bearing upgrade solutions, contact Kingsbury Aftermarket Support, contact our Repair & Service sales engineers at +1-215-956-0565 or send an email to: repair@kingsbury.com.

Kingsbury aims to provide a total solution for Hydropower plants. To read about our wide range of bearing services, click here.