Everything to Know About the History of Ball Bearings in Singapore

Everything to Know About Ball Bearings
A ball bearing is a round cage that has balls lined up on the inside. This provides a smooth, non-stick surface for rolling movement. A ball bearing has two ends – “the inner and outer race” – that are the opposite of each other and are held together by an “impeller”. A ball bearing functions by allowing axial movement within its raceways. The surfaces of both raceways are usually machined to form balls which give a surface for rolling traction. In some applications, such as gearboxes, some additional surfaces may be provided by roughened teeth in one of the races or sleeve-shaped projections on one side only of each raceway.

How Machines Need Ball Bearings to Operate
Ball bearings are widely used in a variety of industries and applications. They are also a key part of different industrial machinery. The uses of ball bearings range from roller coasters, to wind turbines, to the Mars Rover. There are even businesses that use them as an alternative to paper clips. With so many diverse uses in such saturated markets, it is not surprising that there is a huge market for ball bearings today. Ball bearings are critical components in agriculture as well as construction works and heavy machinery industries – among others – for example rotating machines, loaders and excavators. Using these products has several benefits such as reduced costs per piece while increasing productivity and efficiency at work.

How Did Ball Bearings Come to be a Mainstay in Singapore’s History?
In 1851, the first ball bearing factory was established in the United Kingdom. Ball bearings were an important development because they are able to reduce friction and prevent motion from wearing out. From just a few companies in the United States to many countries around the world, ball bearings have made their way onto nearly every surface imaginable. They have also become a critical technology for many industries including aerospace, marine, medicine and manufacturing.

In Singapore, there is a long history of ball bearings, which you can read more in our prior article: The History of Ball Bearings in Singapore. Since the 1930s, when the first ball bearing factory was established in Singapore, the production has continued to be one of the country’s most important industries. The first ball-bearing factory in Singapore was founded by British engineer and inventor, Sir Joseph Whitworth in 1930. The company runs today under its original name as Whitworth Manufacturing Limited.

The Evolution of the Ball Bearings Industry in Singapore Today
The ball bearing industry in Singapore has changed significantly in the past century. In the beginning, it was just a tiny operation that was carried out in a small garden shed. Now, these ball bearings are widely used in different types of industries. The ball bearing industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% by 2021. The demand for new types of ball bearings is still high with constant innovations in their design and manufacturing. There are many important milestones throughout the history of ball bearing, such as how they were used by NASA during the Apollo 11 moon landing and how they are still widely used today.