The specification below provides the recommended improvements needed to improve product durability. They are ranked from bronze to gold based on the effectiveness of the change in improving durability, with bronze being the minimum and gold being the maximum.
Tub not to be welded; available parts; specified for 1,300 cycles
Bearings sealed to prevent water ingress; specified for 1,800 cycles
Bearings (inner and outer) to be of the sealed/submersible type to prevent water ingress into ball race itself. Separate rubber bearing seal used in-front of the outer bearing.
Bearing to be specified to last at least 1,800 wash cycles
Paddles integral part of steel drum; specified to last 2,300 cycles
Ask for clear evidence of requirements listed above, e.g.: technical specifications, drawings, photographs; test data (ideally from an independent test house), quality control data.
* Bearings on 10 randomly selected production machines to be tested without failure or increased noise in 100% of cases. Test to be for the full number of test cycles specified, on a 40 degree cotton cycle, with a mixed clothing load of 50% of the maximum weight and to encompass the highest spin speed. Details of the actual test method is to be declared.
Improved reliability of components can reduce early returns and improve brand reputation which, in turn, can lower business costs and increase long-term sales.
To calculate overall cost savings for your business, use the WRAP cost/benefit analysis tool (currently in draft form and available on request).
Better / shielded seal
Better quality seal (e.g. precision made, deeper, abrasion resistant) with shielding to prevent the ingress of water into the bearing is expected to add a small amount of cost.
Numerous types of bearing, race and cage configurations are available. Higher quality materials or the use of needle rollers, rather than ball bearings for example, will add a small cost.
A simulated test as described, although accelerated, will require a significant number of man hours, hence adding cost per unit.
Overload / load distribution sensor
‘Wear free’ load and motion sensors would potentially add significant cost to the machine.