Bridges, sluices, locks, gates. In civil engineering every part of equipment is large, build for the long term and requires utmost reliability. Bridges are part of the indispensable infrastructure; when a bridge does not close, all transport in the region grinds to a halt. Locks and gates protect the hinterland against flooding; when the once-in-a-hundred-year storm, combined with a spring-tide hits, there cannot be the slightest doubt about their reliability.
Reliability often concerns the mechanical components: the structural parts usually are strong enough but when a gate needs to close, you want it to close. Each and any time. Combined with standard lifetime demands of fifty years, makes designing bearings for civil structures very specific and challenging.
Interestingly this also makes maintenance free bearing designs extra valuable. Based on reliable life time calculations, ‘maintenance free’ means that for unforeseen circumstances the installation can and will function as designed, independent of external utilities such as greasing systems or seals.