Releasing the Power of SKF Knowledge Engineering

130407_SKF Solution Factory_picture 4

130407_SKF Solution Factory_picture 4

Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: At Hannover Fair 2013, SKF presents a selection of products and integrated solutions under the theme “Release the Power of Knowledge Engineering”.

In recent years, we’ve focused our knowledge on developing solutions and innovations that will help customers compete – not just today or even tomorrow, but far into the future. We’re talking about fully case-proven solutions – with quantifiable benefits to profitability and sustainability.

The benefits of working with SKF are greater now than ever before. We have grown closer to our industrial customers, and found smarter ways to create tangible value using the knowledge we have gained. Today we follow machinery assets at every stage in their life cycle – from design right through to maintenance – helping to improve processes to produce better results.

SKF has been a leading global technology provider since 1907. Our fundamental strength is the ability to continuously develop new technologies – then use them to create products that offer competitive advantages to our customers. We achieve this by combining hands-on experience in over 40 industries with our knowledge across the SKF technology platforms: bearings and units, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems. We call this SKF Knowledge Engineering.

SKF Knowledge Engineering is the combination of three business dimensions:

1. The cultural/geographical dimension –understanding of cultures and regions where we live and work

SKF is a global company with a local presence. We intimately understand the demands of our customers and their customers. Wherever they are. Local expertise is supported by global industry specialists who can put those needs into perspective and draw upon successes in similar situations around the world. They in turn, are backed by a worldwide manufacturing footprint and a fine-meshed service and support network to put our solutions to work.

2. The customer dimension- industries and segments

The number of SKF customers is over two million and SKF is active in applications in around 40 specialized customer industries. Working in so many areas has given SKF the experience to develop products and services specific to industry demands – and to recognize when knowledge from one industry can be successfully applied to another. This means we have understood the application demands and conditions, and developed solutions to match, evolving even better solutions as the technology, and engineering within the industry evolves over the years.

3. The competence dimension – our five technology platforms

SKF’s specialist teams who are competent in areas ranging from bearings and units to seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication, work closely together to provide advanced integrated solutions.

It is within the SKF Solution Factory network where small and medium sized OEM customers and end users can get individual support in dealing with their special challenges. Here they get access to the SKF Group’s broad experience in the five platforms and can discuss with local SKF engineers in order to provide or develop custom made solutions.

A SKF Solution Factory offers a wide range of support that include: application engineering,  bearing and lubrication analysis, remote condition monitoring diagnosis, engineering consultancy, linear motion systems, power transmission products, sealing solutions, energy and sustainability management, asset management systems and expertise, spindle reconditioning, bearing remanufacture, and a wide selection of training programmes.

Each SKF Solution Factory is part of a network that allows knowledge gained in one part of the world to be quickly accessed and applied in another part of the world. This speeds up the solution process and is the basis for an ever-growing knowledge pool.

SKF’s core competencies support our Knowledge Engineering

Since SKF began operating in 1907, our efforts in the area of research and development have resulted in numerous innovations that have created new standards and new products and solutions in the bearing industry. In 2012, SKF recorded 663 invention disclosures. and successfully applied for 421 first filing of patent applications. Through our knowledge, SKF can help customers improve their effectiveness, making them more successful and profitable.

SKF’s ability to continuously develop products and services that enhance our customers’ competitive advantage is achieved in two ways: by investing in core technology areas and specialists, and by combining the resulting knowledge to address specific requirements.

Life cycle management:

An increasing share of SKF’s research projects primarily target improving life cycle environmental performance of customer applications. This means considering the environmental consequences of a product or manufacturing process, no matter where in the product’s life cycle these consequences occur.

To support this positive development and foster the use of improved environmental performance technologies, SKF has recently embarked on a programme of life cycle management. The aim is to constantly improve the knowledge of the environmental performance of SKF’s products and manufacturing processes, and to put that knowledge into practice by adapting day-to-day business methods and tools.


Sustainability has been a focus of SKF for more than 100 years. Ever since we developed the world’s first self aligning ball bearing in 1907 the company has realized the importance of making operations run smoother – smoother by reducing friction. When friction is reduced, less energy is used. Today, the environmental impacts

associated with energy generation from fossil fuels are well known. We at SKF are convinced that taking care of the natural environment actually makes business sense and is the right thing to do. Now, as we make our way through our second century in business, we see an even greater opportunity – as well as a responsibility – to play a vital role in helping to address these challenges – the global challenges of environmental sustainability. In 2005, we created our BeyondZero™ concept with two goals in mind;

1.         Reduce the negative environmental impact deriving from SKF operations, and

2.         Increase the positive environmental impact delivered by SKF solutions by innovating and offering new technologies, products, and services with enhanced environmental performance characteristics.

By combining these goals, SKF BeyondZero is an attempt to make an overall positive contribution towards addressing the environmental challenges faced by the planet.

Another proof of SKF’s commitment to sustainability and the environment is the new SKF BeyondZero portfolio and its connected targets for SKF’s new climate strategy and partnership with WWF in their Climate Savers Programme. So far SKF is the only industrial engineering company to be accepted into the Climate Savers Programme. The programme aims at reducing greenhouse gases such as CO2 emissions in a way that is real, measurable, and verified by external experts. And SKF has committed to developing products and solutions that contribute to these goals at all stages of the lifecycle of equipment and machines, in many automotive and specialized customer industries.

There are a number of SKF BeyondZero portfolio products and solutions demonstrated at the SKF Stand at Hannover Fair. A notable new product is the SKF drive solution for aeration blower systems used in wastewater facilities. The SKF solution can reduce energy consumption by up to 40%. It features an energy efficient high speed permanent magnet motor, active magnetic bearings (AMB) and an integrated AMB control system. When used in a 350 kW blower it may result in annual savings of 500,000 kWh, which equals a 375-ton reduction in CO2 emissions.

Sensorization/Condition Monitoring:

Responding to the customers’ need for reducing installation costs and time and to increase the life of components, SKF develops products that make efficient use of wireless technologies.

Monitoring operating conditions as close to the contact area as possible gives greater accuracy for studying the performance of a system. In addition to temperature, speed, direction of rotation and vibration, loads can be monitored via sensors by sensors attached to the outside of bearings or housings, but SKF continues this focus with groundbreaking innovations set to revolutionize condition monitoring for bearings – wireless based SKF Insight™ . Break-through developments in various technologies now enable bearings to communicate their operating conditions continuously, with no external power, sensors, cables or data acquisition electronics – its all integrated inside the bearing.

The SKF Insight™ solutions include:

•          Minaturized packaging of sensor technologies enables measurement of critical parameters such as RPM, temperature, velocity, acceleration, acoustic emission and load.

•          Self-powered – by using the application environment itself, smart bearings can generate their own power needed to operate.

•          Simplicity due to no sensors or cables to install – intelligent wireless communication technology is packaged inside the bearing enabling it to communicate within environments where traditional WiFi cannot operate.

•          Smart bearing networks – communicating through each other and via a wireless gateway, bearings with SKF Insight™  form a “mesh network” and can send information relevant to their condition to the SKF cloud servers.


The interaction between lubricants and bearing steel is an essential factor, and is critical when bearings operate with marginal lubrication.

The chemical composition and mechanical properties of the reaction layer formed by the interaction between the lubricant and the bearing steel strongly influences the performance of bearings. Therefore, understanding the composition and mechanics of reaction layers is very important for SKF. Understanding, predicting and controlling the working conditions help reduce bearing friction and wear, and prolong service life.

SKF’s new Extended Life spherical plain bearing and rod ends use a unique tribological system, which includes special surface treatments, grease and seals, which when combined with the internal geometry of the bearing makes these bearings robust and energy efficient.

SKF Extended Life spherical plain bearings help reduce the cost of ownership and reduce environmental impact because they last longer and do not require relubrication. For example, a single bearing with a 100 mm bore can save up to 876 g of grease per year. A tractor with six bearings of this type and size can save up to 5.2 kg of grease per year. This translates into a savings of 7.7 kg of CO2e per year. The calculations are based on grease savings and do not include the 37% reduction in frictional losses. This product is a part of SKF BeyondZero portfolio.


SKF focuses on developing new elastomeric materials and optimized seal-lip tribology to enhance sealing functions, using advanced modelling of the seals.

The new generation of materials uses new types of fillers to provide low friction. Magnetic encoders within the seals, combined with sensors, enable the transmission of information to the controlling systems. New insights into rubber aging, rubber friction and wear have been obtained, combining novel experimental methods with advanced simulations.

SKF offers machined sealing solutions for fluid power, fluid handling and power transmission applications. Some special aspects of SKF’s solutions are:

• Partnerships with customers from the design phase to serial production with solutions tailor made to their needs

• Prompt manufacturing of seals and components up to 4 000 mm in diameter as one piece and larger using a special welding technique with short delivery times

• Extensive range of sealing materials including materials certified to or complying with a broad range of industry standards and regulations (FDA, NSF, KTW, NORSOK, NACE, etc.)


SKF Asset Diagnostic Services use the cloud to create a global network for customers

SKF Asset Diagnostic Services_picture 1

Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: Since launching the SKF cloud in November 2012, the global network of SKF Remote Diagnostic Centres has been connected, bringing together global IT solutions and making all application data accessible in a single cloud-based system. This collective data reflects a huge breadth of knowledge and experience in diagnosing and solving customer machinery maintenance issues in applications across all major industries worldwide. SKF Asset Diagnostic Services can now leverage and share this knowledge, and at any time of day, SKF service engineers – located in timezones around the world – can be available to provide support in response to any problems that their remote diagnostics systems have identified.

“The new cloud-based solution allows us to monitor and diagnose not hundreds of thousands, but millions of machines. We already have half a million machines in the cloud. This shared knowledge helps us better serve our customers. In addition our cloud based software and services give our customers 24/7 access to an easy to understand diagnostics dashboard and regular reporting. And of course direct access to our knowledge network to collaborate with SKF machine health experts around the globe, day or night. In this way we can help our customer to increase machine availability while decreasing maintenance costs”, says Erwin Weis, Global Manager – SKF Asset Diagnostic Services.

SKF Asset Diagnostic Services are particularly suitable for applications in wind, marine, mining, paper and metal industries, and all other major industries where condition monitoring is used. Part of this offer includes “Software as a Service” (SaaS), which allows the customer to use the SKF cloud to host the data from their condition based maintenance program, reducing the cost of ownership and maintenance of expensive IT infrastructure. Additionally, diagnostic expertise can be requested on demand.

Further extending the benefits is “Knowledge as a Service” (KaaS) where the SKF cloud and SKF Remote Diagnostic Centre network is used to establish or further improve a condition based maintenance program through partnering with SKF.

SKF Extended Life Plain Bearings reduce CO2 emissions and total cost of ownership

SKF reinforces the SKF BeyondZero portfolio with a virtually maintenance-free steel/steel bearing

SKF Extended Life Plain Bearings_picture 2Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: SKF launches a new range of SKF Extended Life spherical plain bearings and rod ends. These bearings, which are aimed primarily at applications in the farm, forestry and construction sectors are virtually maintenance-free, which means that they do not need to be relubricated. This product is a part of the SKF BeyondZero portfolio*.

SKF Extended Life spherical plain bearings help reduce the cost of ownership and reduce environmental impact because they last longer and do not require relubrication. For example, a single bearing with a 100 mm bore can save up to 876 g of grease per year. A tractor with six bearings of this type and size can save up to 5.2 kg of grease per year. This translates into a savings of 7.7 kg of CO2e per year. The calculations are based on grease savings and do not include the 37 percent reduction in frictional losses.

“The tribological system, which includes special surface treatments, grease and seals, combined with the internal geometry of the bearing is what makes these bearings so robust and energy efficient. Furthermore SKF Extended Life plain bearings are phosphated and undergo treatment to practically eliminate corrosion and reduce wear. Afterwards, the bearings are greased and sealed,” says Juergen Scholer, SKF Plain bearings Product Manager.

SKF Extended Life plain bearings are equipped with heavy-duty triple lip seals which are the key to reducing total cost of ownership. These seals virtually eliminate the ingress of contaminants and the resulting poor lubrication condition that causes premature bearing failure.

SKF Extended Life plain bearings fill the gap between standard steel/steel plain bearings and maintenance-free SKF TX-plain bearings. Until now steel/steel spherical plain bearings have required re-lubrication as part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program.

SKF launches SKF Insight™, groundbreaking intelligent bearing technology

Set to revolutionise the future of machine condition monitoring

SKF launches SKF Insight_picture 2Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: SKF launches SKF Insight™, a groundbreaking innovation in intelligent wireless technologies that are integrated into SKF bearings. SKF developments in various smart technologies now enable bearings to communicate their operating conditions continuously, with internally powered sensors and data acquisition electronics. Bearings have long been considered the heart of rotating machinery, now SKF makes them the brain as well.

“These innovations are set to revolutionise condition monitoring for bearings, especially in critical machinery and technically challenging applications. SKF Insight technology will make condition monitoring more widely available, especially in applications where it was previously impossible or impractical,” says Tom Johnstone, SKF President and CEO. “With our integrated diagnostic technology, our customers can get even better control over the life cycle of their machinery, leading to lower total costs with higher reliability and machinery uptime.”

SKF Senior Vice President, Group Technology Development, Alan Begg adds, “Three years ago we had a vision to create an integrated, self powered sensor package that could wirelessly communicate the condition of a bearing at any time – making a smart bearing capable of sending a message when something happens to it. Following extensive R&D work, including miniaturisation, solving power generation challenges and developing unique packaging of sensors and electronics, the introduction of SKF Insight technology makes this a reality. Making the bearing the brain, as well as the heart of rotating machinery has long been a dream of the engineering community, and I am proud that SKF, with our long tradition of innovation leadership, is the first to make this happen.”

Monitoring directly on the bearing

Prior to SKF Insight, condition monitoring techniques could only monitor damage after it has occurred. Now, by sensing directly on the bearing, SKF is able to monitor the damage from the first microscopic effect as it is happening, and with this information, customers can take remedial action to reduce the reason for damage in the bearing – adding lubricant, mitigating transient overloads, etc.

In addition, by monitoring the load directly on the bearing, SKF Insight makes it possible to measure the load the bearing actually experiences rather than what is was designed for. This valuable information can be routed back into the design phase to improve both the system and bearing design.

With SKF Insight technology integrated into bearings, it is simpler and more convenient for customers to enter into condition monitoring activities. Better operational knowledge, better maintenance planning, optimized manpower and spare part management, will lead to lower cost of operations.

SKF Insight technology includes:

– Miniaturisation – Packaging of sensor technologies enables measurement of critical parameters such as RPM, temperature, velocity, vibration, load and other features.
– Self-powered – Using the application environment itself, smart bearings can generate their own power needed to operate.
– Simplicity – Intelligent wireless communication technology packaged inside the bearing enables it to communicate within environments where traditional WiFi cannot operate.
– Smart networks – Communicating through each other and via a wireless gateway, bearings with SKF Insight form a “mesh network” and can send information relevant to their condition for analysis.

SKF Insight application specific solutions are under trial with key customers in industries including wind energy, railways and metals, and SKF is actively developing more application trials in other industries.

SKF Solution Factory network extends service efficiency across the globe

SKF Solution Factory_picture 3Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: SKF has extended service yet further across the globe, with five new SKF Solution Factory facilities that opened in 2012. The global network of sites, which offer knowledge and resources from all SKF technology platforms, now stands at a total of 21, from Moscow (Russia), to Shanghai (China), to Cleveland (USA) to Perth (Australia).

“Our customers across almost every industry ask us for solutions to improve their productivity and reduce costs in a sustainable way. When they face new problems or challenges, or need help with a specific machine or require a life cycle management programme for operational assets, the SKF Solution Factory can create customised solutions that solve their issues”, says Vartan Vartanian, SKF President Industrial Market Regional Sales and Service.

By assembling a dedicated project team using experts from the company’s five technology platforms – bearings, seals, services, lubrication and mechatronics – the SKF Solution Factory works to devise a solution, which is then shared globally across the network of facilities. This expanding database of solutions helps customers to greater asset performance and reduced total cost of ownership.
SKF Solution Factory facilities have been enabling customers to make significant increases in efficiency across the globe.  Belgium’s Argex, which mines and bakes clay for building supplies, needed to replace unreliable sliding bearings in support roller units. SKF supplied not just bearings, but also the support roller and shaft, housings and base plates, and an automated SKF lubrication system. This solution  has reduced energy consumption of its rotary kiln by 10 percent, while also enhancing safety.  Similarly, an SKF Solution Factory has helped Allied Mills, a major food miller in the UK, to develop strategy to improve reliability that minimizes unplanned downtime and maintains a consistent, high-quality product.

SKF solutions for aeration blower system cuts energy costs by up to 40%

SKF Aeration blower_picture 3

Gothenburg, 07, April 2013: SKF today announced the launch of an energy efficient high speed permanent magnet motor solution for aeration blowers in wastewater facilities, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent. In wastewater facilities, the aeration blower system can demand as much as 80 percent of the plant’s total energy consumption, so the SKF solution offers the potential to make huge energy savings. When used in a 350 kW blower it may result in annual savings of 500,000 kWh, which equals a 375-ton reduction in CO2 emissions. The SKF solution for aeration blower systems is included in the SKF BeyondZero* portfolio.

“SKF has developed a new, innovative and sustainable solution that targets the market challenges faced by the water and wastewater industry. The SKF solution for aeration blower systems meets the demand for energy efficiency and the need for reduction of maintenance and service costs, as well as the requirement to comply with air quality and safety standards. Compared with a traditional blower, the SKF solution in a 350 kW centrifugal air blower offers payback on investments in one year from energy savings alone”,says Vincent Megret, Managing Director, SKF Magnetic Systems.

The SKF solution for aeration blower systems comprises a high-speed permanent magnet motor (PMM) that can deliver between 75 kW-350 kW, active magnetic bearings (AMB) and integrated AMB control system. This range of oil-free motor solutions has a number of features that enhance performance; for example, unlike traditional induction motors, the PMM maintains efficiency at half-load and half-speed operation. The SKF solution for aeration blower systems also uses less mechanical parts than traditional drive systems, which means reduced maintenance, while powerful built-in monitoring and diagnostic capabilities maintain high performance and reliability.

SKF solutions for solar tracking systems reduce CO2 emissions and increase solar power generation

SKF solar tracking systems_picture 1Gothenburg, 07 April, 2013: SKF Solar Linear Actuator-CASD-60, and SKF Solar Hub CRSD 290 are two solutions that each contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions by increasing the energy production from one 58 m2 solar panel by 5.8 MWh/year. This equates to a reduction per solution of 4.4 tonnes CO2/year according to the world power grid mix CO2 factor of 0.749 kg CO2e/kWh. Both solutions are part of the SKF BeyondZero portfolio.*

“Harnessing renewable energy is one of the most effective solutions for reducing carbon dioxide. SKF’s advanced electromechanical technology offers improvements over today’s maintenance-intensive solutions and delivers high performance, accuracy and efficiency by accurately tracking the sun’s position throughout the day and throughout the seasons”, says Markus Behn, Global Business Development Manager, SKF Renewable Energy, Solar Segment.

SKF Solar Linear Actuators and SKF Solar Hub are available to provide single- as well as dual axis movement that tracks the travel of the sun as it moves across the sky.

Both solutions are custom designed to manage extremely harsh conditions in which solar panels operate, and are IP 65 certified. And, both solutions provide highly accurate movement and are virtually maintenance-free with an expected service life of 20 years which helps SKF customers to achieve lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE). SKF Solar Linear Actuators and SKF Solar Hub can be used with photovoltaics, concentrated photovoltaics or concentrating solar power systems.

CO2 figures are valid for 58 m2 panels on a single axis tracker. For a dual axis tracker the results will be further improved. Also for another size of panel, the results will be different. The larger the panel, the larger the environmental benefit, since the production and waste treatment of the actuator is of minor importance to the results.

SKF launches the updated technical handbook for electric motors & generators at the Hannover Messe

SKF today announces the launch of the new, updated technical handbook titled: ‘Rolling bearings and seals in electric motors and generators’, that is especially useful for industrial machinery designers and end-users.

This is the first update since the original handbook was launched by SKF in August 2008. This edition includes a new chapter, seals in electric machines, as well as technical information on SKF solutions for bearing systems, lubrication, bearing damage, rolling bearing in electric machines, bearing mounting, dismounting and motor testing, and tolerances and fits.

For designers of industrial electric motors and generators, this handbook provides the information needed to optimize a variety of bearing arrangements. For specialists working in various industries using electric machines, there are recommendations on how to maximize bearing service life from appropriate mounting, maintenance and lubrication.

The recommendations and content are based on experience gained by SKF during decades of close cooperation with manufacturers and users of electric machines all over the world. This experience, along with customer input, strongly influences product development within SKF, leading to the introduction of new products and variants.

Please visit the SKF booth at Hannover Messe, Hall 22, Stand B12 to review the industrial electric motor exhibit from SKF and request your PDF copy of the updated handbook.


source: Aktiebolaget SKF