When the time comes for a replacement cam follower, there are several factors to take into consideration when making your selection that can make installation and maintenance easier and increase the life of the replacement. Primarily, the type of cam follower you select comes down to the location, application speeds, contamination levels, and temperature of the environment.
At the time of removal or installation, you may find that the screwdriver slot found on most standard stud type followers isn’t doing the trick. In such cases, you should seek out cam followers that feature a hex hole which provides superior holding strength.
In observing the cam follower you are replacing, you may find that the wear pattern along the roller diameter is offset from the center, in which case you should select a replacement cam follower with a crowned OD, which helps center the load, prevent corner loading and reduces thrust loads on the bearing.
If the old cam follower has visible rust or experienced bearing lock-up, such as those found in washdown environments, you may want to consider a cam follower made from corrosion resistant material, such as stainless steel. Bearing lock-up may also be present in dusty or contaminated environments, in which case cam followers with increased sealing protection would make for suitable replacements.
Lastly, a key consideration in your replacement cam follower is the process of relubrication, which becomes more crucial as application speeds, contamination levels, and temperature increase. If, however, the loads are light and the speeds are slow, but the bearing is difficult to reach or relubrication has been costly, you may want to consider a cam follower that eliminates relubrication by utilizing a non-metallic bushing instead of needle rollers.