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Miniature and instrument-sized ball bearings are high-precision machined parts with tolerances and raceway finishes that are measured in millionths of an inch. At the same time, their small size and often thin sections makes them vulnerable to excessive handling forces. High-quality bearings cannot be expected to fulfill their performance potential if they are mistreated or contaminated and most small bearing failures can be traced to the user's poor handling techniques.
Common sense in handling a precision part goes a long way towards avoiding such problems, and the user should revew the following areas of interest as part of their "quality of manufacturing" process.