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The best bearing solutions for the food and beverage industry

It is common knowledge that bearings play a critical role in ensuring machines are reliable and run efficiently in processing industries, as output and volumes are key to gaining competitive advantage. However, across the food and beverage industries, bearings also need to be designed to ensure production companies maintain rigorous governmental and international safety & hygiene standards.

Lubrication, material and sealing options are integral to the life and performance of bearings in applications such as mixing, blending, separating, kneading, steaming, sorting, washing, etc. In food processing plants where bearings are exposed to liquids and various types of debris, the NTN-SNR SENTINEL range offers the best bearing solutions. Providing the durability and flexibility required for food-grade environments, keeping debris out and lubrication in, whilst meeting all your application and industry requirements.

NTN-SNR Sentinel bearings series, bearings for food & beverage industry

SENTINEL series considers all you application and industry challenges

NTN's SENTINEL bearing series has been specifically designed to meet the demands of the food and beverage industry. Each component part is tailored to meet application challenges head on, they adhere to the exacting standards of the food industry whilst delivering cleanliness and worry-free bearing solutions.

NTN-SNR understand the food & beverage industry and the constraints that operators and plant managers face, such as:

  • HYGIENE STANDARDS: Frequent high pressure washing: produces progressive disappearance of grease in the bearings Grease leaks: the risk of contaminating the product and deposits on the ground causing safety risks.

  • MAINTENANCE: Lengthy production downtime for maintenance and re-lubrication, or to change the bearings or bearing units, causing high production losses and costs.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS: Taking into account the production impact: ISO 14001 compliance, respecting the CSR action plan, etc.

With this in mind, NTN-SNR bearings for the food and beverage industry are designed to offer the following benefits:

  • SAFETY: Total elimination of grease leaks at the self-aligning bearing units. Solid lubricant resistant to high pressure washing. NSF category H1 certification guaranteeing the safety of the product

  • PRODUCTIVITY: Increased service life of the bearing. Significantly reduced maintenance interventions: lower production downtime. Maintenance teams assigned to other tasks.

  • ECO-RESPONSIBILITY: A true environmental approach. Reduced grease and bearing consumption in the workshop. Positive environmental impact.

SENTINEL Stainless-Steel and Thermoplastic Housings

The SENTINEL series provides you with the optimum flexibility when selecting the appropriate bearing unit for your application. High purity material, martensitic stainless steel offers the best combination of corrosion resistance and fatigue life, whilst thermoplastic focuses on protection from mould, bacteria, and chemical cleaning agents.

Sentinel’s stainless-steel series features full stainless-steel composition, from outer housing to inner ball bearings and raceways. Available in a wide array of configurations, including pillow block, take-up and two- or four-bolt flange styles.

Bearings often work in severe conditions, immersed in water or prone to chemical & chlorine attacks from cleaning agents. The SENTINEL range of thermoplastic housed units are lightweight yet strong enough to prevent chipping or flaking compared to plated housed units. The bearing units have a smooth design without recess areas that resist debris and particle build-up which leads to bacterial growth.

SENTINEL range uses food-grade solid lube grease

Re-lubricating bearings in the food processing environment has always been problematic due to the hygiene and health & safety measures required to protect the food and brand reputation. With frequent washdowns, bearings are vulnerable to contamination, so operators choose shielded or sealed bearings. However, using sealed bearings makes it difficult to know how much grease is inside the bearing. SENTINEL bearings with solid lubrication (LUBSOLID®) from NTN-SNR allow processing facilities to overcome these re-lubrication issues. Bearings are sealed and greased for life, eliminating the need to re-grease and the risks associated with re-greasing, such as food contamination and production downtime.

FDA + NSF approved, H1 food-grade grease

bearings for food & beverage industry

Generally, bearings are filled at 30% grease to ensure optimal rotational speed and performance. However, solid lube fills the bearing cavities, providing a gap-free fill. The design and lubricant ensure high performance is maintained whilst it also acts as a seal to prevent contamination entering the bearing. Sentinel series are sealed bearings, reducing the risk of grease leakage, emulsification, or degradation when water is present. Ensuring the grease & bearing continue to perform to their expected service life.

Lubrication must withstand washdowns that can degrade the grease - using high pressure water, antibacterial solutions which are often caustic, and steam. Plus, they must withstand varying heat and cold ranges in specific processing sections - bakery ovens, bottle washing, flash freezing, etc.,.

NTN-SNR food-grade solid lube provides 21 times grease resistance washout of standard grease. It is a polymer impregnated with H1 food-safe oil, which helps prevent lubricant washout. Oil is stored in a porous solid material that acts like a sponge and releases the necessary base oil to lubricate the components as it rotates. The entirety of the Sentinel Series line come standard with protective covers (caps) for units that provide additional protection against contaminants and moisture, while adding additional safety for maintenance personnel.

With NTN there are two types of solid lube - Full pack or Spot pack.

LUBSOLID® is NTN-SNR's solid lubricant, containing a large quantity of oil allowing the bearing to operate freely without churn and overheating. Its solid nature also means the grease does not flow out from the bearing, even when exposed to strong centrifugal forces or vibration. Solid lubrication delivers cleanliness and ensures processing areas are not at risk of grease contamination. LUBSOLID® is a solid lubricant offering maximum protection against all forms of contamination in the food processing industry and extends bearing life by up to 20 times that of competitor adapted or standard grease.

LUBSOLID® Full Pack - No empty space in the bearing. The grease fills the whole bearing cavity. These bearings are "greased for life".

LUBSOLID® Spot Pack - Partial fill of lubricant in the bearing.

SENTINEL series are maintenance free bearings

Certain chemicals and lubricants react with rubber, NTN-SNR SENTINEL bearings use Nitrile seals. NTN-SNR also offers a combination of silicone seal and shield to create a second protection against water and contamination. These seals resist the most abrasive chemicals and can handle the high operating temperatures associated with food industry applications. Triple lip seals are employed to provide effective protection against the minutest of debris and for greater abrasion resistance slinger seals are also available. This combined with the material and lubrication means the bearings offer a maintenance free solution to operators. Zero grease leak, zero contamination ingress, & zero grease washout.


Food and beverage applications are extremely harsh on bearings yet bearing life is a major factor contributing to processing and production uptime and reliability. Therefore, production and plant operators should select bearings based on operational loads, life, lubrication, temperature, and corrosion and contamination protection. NTN-SNR’s SENTINEL bearing range is the best solution for these operating environments, enabling reduced downtime and increased profitability, through longer life and maintenance free performance.


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