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A Unique Approach to Marine Environments – Part 2

The following is part two of a two-part post. Read part one here.

A middle market OEM that produces outdoor electrical cabinets had a problem: With many of their cabinets located near coastal areas, weather exposure, including salt from ocean spray, was compromising the integrity of its products, which incorporated bearings on the cabinet hinges. Specifically, condensation had rusted the cabinet’s ball bearings and steel cage. And the company turned to AST for help.

After months of design and testing, including comprehensive failure analyses, AST arrived at a fully functional solution: a customized 6209-2RK ball bearing with chrome steel rings, stainless balls and cage, double lip labyrinth seals and aluminum complex grease.

The components deployed easily into existing cabinets that were already in the field, replacing their existing hardware. The setup was cost effective, too, adding just 15% to the cost of the original. Moving forward, it became the standard setup for the company on all new cabinets that it produced, integrating seamlessly into the existing manufacturing process.

Innovative thinking. Innovative solution.

For AST, it’s not always about steering a client to an existing product; rather, it’s finding a solution that solves a unique challenge that is the distinguishing AST value proposition.

Combining stainless steel balls with a chrome steel ring (rather than chrome with chrome) is unusual and certainly not obvious, which made the AST design process a case study in thinking outside the box. And it’s this ability and willingness to assess a problem and consider customer limitations before developing a solution that distinguishes AST as an industry leader in ball bearing technology.

Additionally, AST has developed a global network of partner manufacturers who will produce customized designs — again, unusual in the industry — ensuring the optimal performance of its customers’ products.


Several years after the production modification, the manufacturer continues to integrate AST’s customized 6209-2RK setup into its cabinets, to great success: Its products last longer, they cost less to maintain and repair and as a result, they have realized a healthier bottom line.

Read part one here.