Closeup of stainless steel wire rolls

Bearing cage failure in a wire rolling mill

Thanks to its online condition monitoring system, the Austrian steel wire manufacturer averted what could have resulted in significant production stoppage in the nick of time.

The customer's condition monitoring program is designed to detect potential problems early enough to schedule maintenance work for non-productive time. To that end, the plant installed the Intellinova Parallel EN online system with HD measurement technology and DuoTech accelerometers on the gearboxes in its rolling mill.

In December 2022, the online system detected sudden increases in shock pulse and vibration levels corresponding to the FTF symptom. Because of the cage's relative lack of mass and load, the FTF rarely shows up in vibration spectrums until breakdown is imminent – hence, the prewarning time was minimal, making swift action vital. The customer was alerted of the critical time frame and acted accordingly. Without the online system, the broken bearing cage could have resulted in extensive damage to the bearing, gearbox, and auxiliary machines.

When disassembling the gearbox, the damaged bearing cage was confirmed.

The case study is a textbook example of a typical course of this relatively uncommon type of bearing damage.

Download full case study

Case Study
Filename/description Language Size Modified
CS_036B_Rolling_mill_gearbox_AT.pdf English (United Kingdom) 27 MB 10/6/2023
Case study involving bearing cage failure in a wire rolling mill.
CS_036C_Rolling_mill_gearbox_AT.pdf German (Germany) 27 MB 1/3/2024
Fallstudie zum Ausfall eines Lagerkäfigs in einem Drahtwalzwerk.

Iron and steel

Condition monitoring is a cornerstone in the asset management of iron and steel plants. Having control of the operating condition is a must to optimize plant profitability.


With Intellinova, our unique HD condition monitoring technologies can be fully utilized to successfully provide earlier warning of mechanical problems than any other monitoring technology.

HD condition monitoring technologies

Condition monitoring with High Definition (HD) technologies provides exceptional pre-warning times, thus maximizing the planning horizon for maintenance and repairs. In turn, this enables fully utilizing asset life, cutting repair costs, and minimizing the consequences of unplanned downtime.