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Precision bearings and condition monitoring

Hybrid bike/motorbike relies on NSK bearing technology

eVinci Mobility GmbH, an innovative start-up company based in Munich, Germany is using drive and chassis bearings from NSK for its ´Pike I´, a new concept in two-wheeled transportation that is capturing the attention of admirers the world over.-

"The Pike I is a global first: it combines the easy handling and dynamics of a bicycle with the power of a motorbike," says Klaus Rohne, founder and CEO of eVinci. "Furthermore, it performs just as well on rough terrain as in city traffic."

However, it is not only the bike concept that is new, but also its drive system. The central component is the patented drive design, which has been developed internally by eVinci's parent company LSP. The PM (permanent magnet) electric motor transfers power using a CVT (continuously variable transmission) that switches gears automatically under full load to ensure smooth acceleration. The drive allows the bike to accelerate from 0 to 40km/h in just 4 seconds, while still retaining high efficiency.

One of the principal tasks in the development of Pike I was the selection of suitable rolling bearings for the drive and chassis axles, such as forks, bottom brackets and wheel hubs.

Image 1: Smooth running and compact design were among the selection criteria for drive components on the eVinci Pike I.

Image 2: The drive on eVinci's Pike I is equipped at multiple points with NSK's 6000 series deep groove ball Bearings.

Image 3: NSK's DDU technology offers an efficient, patented labyrinth seal that combines outstanding sealing properties with low friction.


"As Pike I is also intended for off-road use, and naturally has to withstand wet conditions, open bearing locations have to be exceedingly well sealed," explains Mr Rohne.

eVinci was supported in the design phase by NSK, which recommended that the drive be equipped at multiple points with high quality 6000 series deep groove ball bearings. These popular NSK bearings are manufactured in high purity steel to reliably withstand radial and axial loads. Depending on the specific application, 6000 series bearings are equipped either with a seal, or simply a shield. For those applications where a seal is required, NSK´s proven DDU technology represents a very efficient, patented labyrinth seal which combines outstanding sealing properties along with low friction levels.

NSK´s DDU technology offers an efficient, patented labyrinth  seal that combines outstanding sealing properties with low friction.

For the internal bearing points, open NSK deep groove ball bearings are used. In total, five different bearing types and sizes are installed on the Pike I. According to eVicni, smooth running and compact design (which also ensures low weight) were the key factors governing drive component selection.

"The co-operation with NSK worked very well,» says Mr Rohne. »We only use high quality components from suppliers because we have stringent requirements with respect to finish, reliability and durability.»

Series manufacture has now commenced and the first distributors have witnessed considerable interest in the Pike I despite the fact that the sales network has yet to be completed. Further evolutions of this innovative hybrid vehicle are planned for the near future.

NSK in profile
Established almost 100 years ago, NSK (Nippon Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese-listed company that has evolved from a regional ball bearing supplier to a roller bearing specialist and automotive supplier with a global market presence. Today, NSK employs more than 30,500 employees in 29 countries. As per March 2014 NSK achieved a turnover of 6,2 billion Euros. This result has been driven by ever-increasing investment in research & development, enabling the company to continuously improve the quality of its products and services. This investment supports NSK´s objective of »No. 1 in Total Quality». In addition to a complete rolling bearing portfolio, NSK develops and manufactures precision components and mechatronic products, as well as systems and components for the automotive industry, including wheel bearing units and electric power-steering systems.

In 1963, NSK´s first European subsidiary, Düsseldorf, Germany, was opened and in 1976, the first European production facility in Peterlee, England. Today, NSK Europe supports pan-European sales with production locations in England, Poland and Germany, logistics centres in the Netherlands, Germany and England and technology centres in Germany, England and Poland. In 1990, NSK purchased the UPI Group including the renowned European bearing manufacturer RHP, with its factory in Newark (UK). Additionally, NSK has developed a comprehensive network of authorised sales distributors. NSK Europe is divided into application-based business divisions: Industry rolling bearing technologies & linear and precision technology (EIBU) as well as bearing modules and steering systems for the automotive industry (EABU & ESBU). In this organisation, NSK Europe's 3,500 employees achieved a turnover of over 900 million Euros as per March 2014.

For further information, view website: www.nskeurope.com 
Refer to page 803

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