The Value Of Bearing Life Calculations

by | Nov 21, 2019 | Tips and Advice

Depending on your application, even the best bearing may not last forever. Replacing old bearings is a common practice for many businesses, but it’s not necessarily a pleasant experience when you don’t know when those parts are at the end of their usefulness.

That issue is where bearing life calculations can help. Through analysis, there are ways for businesses to identify the expected lifespan of a bearing to give them the right information and help them avoid issues.


A predetermined bearing life calculation allows you to prepare for the future and prevent unnecessary issues. Having a good idea of a bearing’s lifespan will allow you to adjust your bearing maintenance plan and part replacement schedule based off the expected time it should take before your part breaks down.

If your bearings are nearing the end of their identified lifespan, you can potentially increase the frequency of inspections before there’s an issue. This process will allow you to evaluate the situation and identify if it’s truly time to swap out these parts or if you think they still have more run left in them. You can also opt to replace them ahead of time to get in front of any issues altogether. Unexpected downtime is one of the costliest scenarios for just about any industry, so a life calculation can help you avoid these issues.

Another advantage of calculating bearing life is that it gives you a set number for your projections. If you can avoid some common reasons for early bearing failure, your lifespan projection should be a pretty reliable number. If you’re trying to plan for how much bearing inventory you need and how those costs will affect your business, it’s helpful to have a trustworthy lifespan to give you an idea of just how long your parts will last instead of basing your order off educated guesses.


There are several factors that impact the potential lifespan of a bearing. The sheer amount of data and analysis required can make calculation tricky, which is why experts turn to specialized software and formulas to determine the right number.

At Ritbearing, we use MESYS Software to accurately calculate the life of various bearings. By weighing a variety of factors, this technology can determine the likely lifespan of a specific part once it’s put into use. Some of the biggest factors toward determining bearing life includes, but are not limited to:

  • Load distribution within the bearing
  • Contact stress between rolling elements and races
  • Reaction forces/moment and displacements/tilting angles
  • Bearing life according to ISO/TS 16281 and ISO 281
  • Bearing stiffness matrix
  • Contact angle under load for ball bearings
  • Ball advance

With all this information, we can calculate the bearing lifespans for an entire system. In addition, we can use our findings to offer suggestions that will improve how long your parts will last and guide you toward the best options for your application based on your required performance needs and budget.

As a premier bearing supplier, we offer a wide range of bearing products to help you find a quality, cost-effective solution for your design. If you need something that isn’t readily available, our experts can work with you to design a custom engineered bearing based on your specific requirements. Contact us today to get the right bearings for your applications.