Cranberry Sauce and Bearings: Perfect Sides for Thanksgiving Dinner

by | Nov 25, 2013 | Bearing Solutions, Market Applications

Thanksgiving is a time most people pause and give thanks for all that they have, including the famous meal that accompanies the holiday. However, one thing most people will forget to be thankful for is bearings.

The bearings used in poultry manufacturing are critical to delivering the beloved big birds to grocery stores across the country. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and consumed at Thanksgiving. This number is approximately one-sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year!


Each delicious turkey depends on the efficiency and quality of the bearings in the poultry manufacturing equipment to arrive dressed and ready for Thanksgiving consumption. Poultry processing is a high-production industry (again, 45 million turkeys for one day) and requires operating equipment to maintain stability to keep up with product capacity.

Dependable, high quality performance is required as bearings are used in various manufacturing components, including picker hubs, harvesting and evisceration machinery. Some of the most common bearing types in poultry production include hanger, trolley and stainless steel bearings.

A key feature of the bearings is their ability to withstand high operating temperatures caused by the rapid production process. Over-heating can cause equipment break-downs, which can be costly to repair both in parts and missed revenue.


Contamination is a huge concern for poultry manufacturers and is strictly monitored by the USDA, FDA and HAACP. The sealant and lubrication grease used in bearings play a big role in the quality of a machine. If a seal becomes damaged in some way, contaminants can permeate the bearings, resulting in a reduced operational life and compromised product quality. Bearing contamination can also greatly decrease the amount of lubrication, which causes the machinery to operate dry, increasing the risk of equipment burn-out and failure.

SMT, a Ritbearing partner, produces stainless steel bearings in a variety of grades, including AISI 440C and AISI 304. Heat resistant grease is prepacked into each SMT bearing. Fluorinated grease can also be provided. These bearings are able to withstand caustic wash downs, can reduce bacteria concerns and have a longer service life, which minimizes operating and replacement costs.

Selecting the right lubrication for your machine is also vital to overall performance and safety. Ritbearing’s team of experts is available to consult on which grease or lubrication oil is the most beneficial for your application while ensuring all health standards are met. Engineers can also help select the best bearing design to meet your project’s performance requirements and minimize the chance of production delays due to failed bearings. With more than 88% of Americans expecting to eat turkey this year, using quality bearings is as important as the cranberry sauce in completing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.