CCTY Bearing is a bearing manufacturer that recently helped one utility-vehicle OEM address sourcing, quality, and assembly issues with some of its front-suspension ball-joint components. Ultimately, CCTY Bearing consolidated three different part numbers for a more cost-effective and reliable solution.
The traditional ball joint, retaining plate, and rubber shroud needed assembly and greasing during production — and then regular maintenance by the end user. CCTY eliminated the regreasing issue by designing a maintenance-free ball joint assembly.
This also let engineers eliminate the grease fitting and machining operations needed to provide a path of travel for the grease into the ball joint from the mating part. That also let the OEM remove how-to maintenance instructions from the utility-vehicle owner’s manual.
So the new bearing design is backwards compatible with current and previous UVs … though with a positive seal (that the previous design’s rubber shroud could not support) and a corrected taper on the stud (eliminating the need for an additional washer).
“During a conference call the OEM project engineer said, ‘Most suppliers don’t ask the kind of questions you guys do … and I like the questions,” noted strategic sales manager and senior engineer Rich Pearlberg.
“As a bearing manufacturer with a state-of-the-art facility, we can partner with OEM engineers to design unique solutions,” said John Sweetwood.