Bearings are used in all kinds of equipment. Even if you don’t see them, you likely have quite a few bearings in your home. Skateboards, stand mixers, well pumps, and some motors use bearings to ensure they operate smoothly. Bearings are typically composed of a sealed metal ring with perfectly smooth metal balls and lubricant inside. They spin in a smooth, controlled motion, even when under a significant amount of stress.
Eventually, most bearings will fail. They can fail for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, the lubricant leaks out of the bearing, causing the metal balls inside to overheat or suffer from friction-induced damage. Sometimes bearings become misaligned if they have been subjected to too much force.
When a bearing fails, you can replace or rebabbit it. Rebabbitting is the process of restoring damaged bearings. Generally, small bearings that are made in standard sizes are cheaper to replace than they are to rebabbit. However, if you have a custom or very large bearing, rebabbitting is likely to be an economic solution in case of failure.
To learn more about how the bearing rebabbitting process works, take a look at the video posted above. It shows the entire rebabbitting process in a professional machine shop.