Failures of bearings in machinery can cause large losses. A recent bearing failure in a large self-propelled combine harvester caused the loss of the machine valued at over $400,000.

There is a specific failure mode of bearings that has arisen in recent years which is associated with bearing failure, often referred to as cage failure.

Figure 1 is a view of a typical ball bearing. The balls roll in the gap between the inner and outer race guided by the cage, which keeps the balls separated. Roller bearings are similar in shape with the exception that the rolling elements are cylindrical in shape and are separated by a cage that matches this geometry.

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