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Bearings are critical components that are used heavily in both pulping and paper production machines. Buried deep in the heart of each machine, they ensure that rotating parts move smoothly, efficiently and with minimal friction.

In many instances, bearing designs are highly specialised to meet demanding conditions; for example, operation in areas such as suction rolls where there is constant exposure to moisture, or in dryer sections with high levels of humidity and heat. Installed and maintained correctly, and protected by appropriate lubrication systems, bearings should provide a long and trouble free operating life.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to maintain bearings under ideal conditions, as bearings expert and SKF Business Unit Manager, Rudolf Groissmayr, explains. “Bearings can wear prematurely and fail unexpectedly for many different reasons. The most common causes include poor or incorrect lubrication, failed seals, misalignment of shafts, and changes in machine operating conditions. These often arise if attempts are made to increase line speeds or steam temperatures in dryers as a means of improving output; this can, however, move the bearing performance envelope outside its original specification”.

Although it’s unusual for a bearing to fail unexpectedly – the latest condition monitoring and oil analysis systems should provide sufficient advance warning to prevent such an occurrence – it is common to find bearings suffering from indentations and micro-fissures in rolling surfaces and raceways that, over time, affect the performance and efficiency of the bearings and thus of the shafts or cylinders that they support.

Ultimately, regardless of how carefully engineered, installed and maintained they are, bearings that are in constant use will eventually reach a point where they require either repair or replacement. Although there are arguments in favour of each approach, in the current economic climate, where mills face a combination of intense global competition, rising input prices, there is a strong impetus wherever possible to repair rather than replace bearings.

Rudolf Groissmayr manages one of SKF’s Industrial Service Centres, specialising in the remanufacture of bearings for the pulp and paper sector. He notes that, “One of the biggest challenges for production or maintenance engineers is minimising machine downtime. The problem with bearing replacement is that it’s often impossible to determine how damaged a bearing has become until it’s dismounted and removed from the machine, by which time of course the line has stopped. If a new bearing is required then this can be costly and, as few suppliers keep such specialised or expensive components in stock, may require a special factory order, which can take weeks or in some cases months to fulfil. The alternative is to remanufacture the bearing.”

“Remanufacture is possible in over fifty percent of applications and can normally be carried out within days and at a considerably lower cost than purchasing a new product. It is also possible to remanufacture a bearing – especially older bearings – to a higher standard of quality and performance than the original part.”

Besides productivity gains, Rudolf Groissmayr sees some real environmental benefits of remanufacturing bearings. “Not only are there real commercial and technical benefits for mill operators, there is also a powerful argument in favour of environmental sustainability, as remanufacturing uses up to 90 percent less energy than that required to produce a new component.”

The purpose of remanufacturing, however, is not generally to produce a bearing better than the original but to increase its service life.

It should be recognised that remanufacturing is an extremely demanding process that requires specialised knowledge and equipment to ensure that the bearing properties are maintained and guarantee continued reliability once the product is back in operation. “Working with a specialised supplier is essential”, says Rudolf Groissmayr. “Not only will they have the capabilities to carry out the work quickly to the highest standards, they will also be able to help a customer understand why the bearing was damaged in the first place and to assist with subsequent machine optimisation to minimise the risk of subsequent failures.”

Not all bearings are suitable for remanufacture. Those with heavy damage or fractures are generally only fit for recycling. The remanufacturing process therefore begins with an expert assessment of bearing condition, to determine both suitability for remanufacture and the type and extent of work required. An important aspect that is often overlooked is to assess bearing condition in the context of its application, taking into account the bearing load, lubrication conditions and time in operation; this enables the nature of the problem that has caused the damage to be fully understood.

A clear distinction has to be made between problems of subsurface-initiated fatigue and surface-initiated fatigue. The former describes the shear stresses that appear cyclically immediately below the load carrying surface of the rings and rolling elements. These stresses cause microscopic fissures that gradually extend to the surface and, as the rolling elements pass over these fissures, fragments of the surface material spalls or breaks away. Bearing raceways with damage caused by subsurface-initiated fatigue are not normally suitable for remanufacture, while those suffering from surface initiated fatigue can generally be restored by honing or grinding.

When a bearing arrives at an SKF remanufacturing centre, it is visually inspected and parameters such as residual magnetism and clearance are checked. The bearing is then disassembled and cleaned before the component parts are carefully inspected and their dimensions measured. This includes standard measurement of ring wall thickness and ovality, with the option of ultrasonic testing to detect subsurface micro-cracks.  Additionally, measurement of hardness, roller diameter set variation and outer dimensions can be added depending on the condition of the bearing and the criticality of the application.

This initial assessment phase is then followed by the submission of a customer report and a recommendation for further actions. The subsequent remanufacturing process is undertaken in a dedicated production facility, combining advanced automation and control systems with the engineering knowledge of experienced technicians.

The remanufacturing process is effectively divided into four categories: service level 1 (SL1) covers inspection and analysis of failures; service level 2 (SL2) covers the process of restoring bearings that have not been used but may have degraded due to lengthy or incorrect storage; service level 3 (SL3) covers the remanufacture of bearings, primarily by polishing processes, with the reuse of existing components; service level 4 (SL4) is for the extensive remanufacture of bearings requiring the replacement of components and grinding of raceways. In each case, remanufactured bearings are reassembled, quality inspected and marked for traceability before being packed and returned to the customer.

Rudolf Groissmayr believes that bearing remanufacture offers considerable advantages. “Our experience has shown that remanufacturing can help paper mills reduce their annual bearing replacement costs. This can vary, depending on the business model, but can typically be between ten and twelve percent. Just as importantly, the relatively short lead times mean that, with careful planning, bearings can be remanufactured during normal line shutdown, thereby minimising any loss of productivity. Finally, the potential energy savings also make remanufacturing an attractive option from an environmental perspective”.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: August 24, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 18 August 2016: At this year's InnoTrans fair, SKF will focus on reliability issues and how it can help customers to minimise their maintenance costs and frequency of maintenance operations. SKF can offer a variety of solutions that extend the maintenance interval, to support its customers in achieving their reliable performance goals.

A good example is the development of a new class of wheel tapered roller bearing units (TBUs) that are the first in the world to offer a period between overhauls that matches wheel replacement intervals, allowing the combination of wheelset and bearing overhaul in a single maintenance operation.

While standard rail bearings typically require overhaul and re-lubrication well before one million km, the new TBUs are designed to run for 1.7 million km between overhauls, matching the maintenance interval of the wheelset. This has been achieved by focusing on the factors that affect lubricant life within the bearing - most significantly cleanliness and operating temperature - and considered use of SKF's proprietary X-bite® heat treatment technology on the inner and outer bearing races.

Also showing will be the new SKF Centrifugal Lip Seal that dynamically switches between contacting and non-contacting sealing modes in wheelset bearing units. This novel design balances the trade-off between sealing function and friction torque, enabling lower temperature operation and supports extended maintenance intervals.

Other offers on show include a the SKF Baker AWA-IV traction motor test rig with customisable user interface and specialised wheel flange lubrication systems to reduce track squeal and wear.

Visitors to the InnoTrans fair (Berlin, 20th-23rd September) will find SKF in Hall 22, booth 606.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: August 18, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 16 August 2016: SKF will use the Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia 2016 to demonstrate how to increase efficiency and reliability, while cutting maintenance requirements in the oil and gas sector through the use of its proven technologies and services. Visitors to the event will see how its bearings, seals and condition monitoring innovations have been specially developed to improve the performance and extend the service life of critical assets across the industry.

Among the market leading technologies to feature at the trade show will be SKF’s S2M magnetic bearings and E300V2control cabinet that allows monitoring and servicing in demanding environments, such as in gas compressors, high-speed electric motor drives and ethylene turboexpanders. Also on display will be SKF’s MBScope service software package, which offers in-depth, autonomous monitoring of critical parameters to further optimise magnetic bearing applications.

Meanwhile, SKF’s state of the art Multilog On-Line System IMx-M will be on show to demonstrate its reliability enhancing capabilities for critical offshore machinery. When used with the SKF @ptitude Monitoring Suite software, this powerful yet cost effective condition monitoring system enables end users to maximise the availability of assets and prevent downtime through early fault detection and diagnosis.

SKF will also present a range of sealing solutions from Kaydon Ring and Seal at the trade fair. These include dry gas seals, circumferential barrier seals, oil buffered seals and seal control systems that are proven to boost the resilience of turbomachinery, while minimising downtime in oil and gas applications.

SKF experts will be available in the booth at the Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia, which will take place at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, to give comprehensive information and advice on its wide range of solutions.

See SKF at Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia: Booth 1510

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: August 16, 2016, 8:00 am
Pumps and fans are the foot soldiers of the process industry, but their quiet dedication means they are often ignored.

This is done at the operator’s peril, because when these components break down – or run below optimum efficiency – the whole process suffers. Manufacturing and process companies are under huge cost pressures at the moment, making it vital to maximise assets and maintain uptime.

Only recently, a processing giant was forced to run its Finnish refinery at 70% utilisation following a malfunction in one of its cooling systems. The problem is expected to cause production losses of several tens of millions of euros – which drives home the importance of the humble fan to overall profitability.

The specific refinery problem was caused by a new air cooler, which was installed during a recent maintenance turnaround – showing that even brand new components can cause problems.

If a component is malfunctioning, the temptation is simply to replace it. However, an upgrade – by relubricating, or changing a bearing set, for example – often makes more sense. Replacing a part can mean huge upheaval, as the old machine is removed and a new one installed. People underestimate how much is involved in this process. Upgrading can avoid all that – and is likely to cost less.

In fact, upgrades are a necessary part of building plant efficiency over time. When commissioning a new plant, there is rarely enough money upfront to buy the best equipment across the board. However, it can actually be better – both economically and technically – to upgrade equipment over time. It helps operators focus on equipment with reliability issues and avoids ‘design overkill’ on the original plant.

A word of warning: safety must never be compromised. Plants that are specified with too much emphasis on cost reduction run the risk of being ‘under designed’ – and that can be dangerous.

Reliability and efficiency
In most cases, pumps and fans are upgraded to improve two things: reliability or efficiency.

A good example of a pump reliability upgrade is changing the lubrication system. In hot, humid regions – or a humid environment like a pulp and paper mill – there’s always a danger of bearings corroding through water ingress. Atmospheric moisture gets into the oil sump and condense, and is transferred to the bearing by the oil rings. Just 200ppm of water in oil is enough to degrade bearings fast.

A common solution is to fit an oil mist lubrication system e.g. the SKF Alemite ones, which sprays micro-sized droplets of oil at the exact lubrication point. It guarantees fresh oil in the system and cures water ingress. This type of system is becoming more common: around half of all refineries in the US are now using oil mist systems in their pumps.

One of the most effective efficiency upgrades is to introduce a variable speed drive (VSD) to the pump or fan. Done properly, this can slash energy consumption by a huge 30%. However, the electrical output of the drive can cause arcing – which can destroy the bearing in a very short time. In extreme cases, this can happen inside three days.

The answer is to upgrade the system, most notably by fitting insulating bearings such as SKF’s Insocoat bearings (ceramic coated) or using hybrid bearings (ceramic rolling elements), which withstand electrical arcing. This is particularly important for smaller motors. Other measures – such as brushes, earthing, insulating couplings and special condition monitoring – can also help to alleviate the problem.

On the surface, it appears that introducing VSDs is adding a problem. However, the huge saving in electricity far exceeds the extra cost of fitting the VSD and upgrading the bearing system.

Fan fare
Fans have many similarities with pumps – but it’s true to say that fans often start with worse original design conditions. At SKF we have a portfolio of upgrades such as self-aligning bearing systems, fan oil lubrication systems etc. that can help to boost their efficiency and reliability. For certain types of fan, the scope for upgrade is even larger than it is for pumps.

As with pumps, VSDs can help to boost the energy efficiency of fans. Again, insulated bearings help to extend component lifetime. Another problem – far more common on fans than pumps – is misalignment. This is even more prevalent for large fans, which are commonly used in industries including pulp and paper, cement and metals processing.

An effective solution is to specify a self-aligning and axial free bearing, such as SKF CARB toroidal roller bearings. This corrects angular and axial displacement, while a standard spherical roller bearing takes the thrust loading. When upgrading, it is common to replace both standard roller bearings with the new arrangement – rather than simply inserting one self-aligning bearing.

Close monitoring
With or without an upgrade, it’s possible to further extend the lifetime of pumps and fans by keeping a close eye on them through online asset monitoring. This technique is commonly used to monitor expensive, process-critical equipment by spotting problems as they happen. For example, it can detect the tiniest changes in bearing vibration – giving an early indication of impending failure, and allowing remedial action to be taken before the problem escalates into inefficiency or even catastrophic failure.

It is usually applied to expensive machinery, but the emergence of reliable, affordable sensors – and the ability to process large amounts of data – means it can also be used with smaller equipment such as pumps and fans.

Equipping each pump or fan with sensors, including a transmitter, as done in SKF Wireless Machine Condition Sensor, allows the creation of a sensor network. Output data can regularly be analysed and acted upon. For example, sensors can identify whether cavitation is developing in a pump – allowing operators to respond to the problem by adjusting its running speed, or switching to a back-up pump. There are often hundreds of pumps in a process plant or refinery. The challenge, as always, is to process the vast amounts of data generated by the sensors.

Online monitoring can be used to nurse a ‘problem’ machine back to health – by monitoring it more frequently than similar machines. It also allows machines in hazardous areas to be monitored without endangering staff – or, at least, by minimising the number of times they have to check the machine.

That said, there are some things – such as a leaking seal, yet is a sign of impending failure – that a sensor cannot spot. In these instances, it is vital that operators make visual assessments of components and supply this information alongside the automated online data. This operator-driven reliability (ODR) is another vital factor in keeping pumps and fans running for as long as possible. Skilled operators get to know their equipment – and will spot things that even a sophisticated sensor will miss.

ODR has become popular in applications such as pump farms in refineries, and can make a huge difference in performance: at SKF, we have seen that ODR has helped increase mean time between failures (MTBF) by 15%, while decreasing maintenance costs by more than 10% in this area.

These two approaches – online monitoring and ODR – are complementary to one another, and are best used side by side. In each case, a skilled operator – one at the machine side, the other analysing process data – is using their experience to help squeeze more performance and longevity from a pump or fan.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: August 11, 2016, 8:00 am

There are many technologies available in relation to lubricants and lubrication that ensure the right amount & type of lubrication applied at the right time. However, identification of potential negative impacts on HACCP have led to the emergence of a different approach in managing lubrication proactively.

Lubrication practices are not always effective. And costs can be daunting.
As good lubrication practices are widely accepted to be fundamental to plant reliability, the question is not about re-lubricating, but about the choices made to achieve the right outcome.

How effective are your current lubrication practices?
If you are manually lubricating – do you know how much, with what and how often?
Some typical answers throughout the industry are: “I relubricate when I feel it is the right time”, “how much – depends on the size of the man using the grease gun”, “ what with – depends on what grease cartridge is in the stores”. In other words, in the food and beverage industry relubrication can be still an ad-hoc activity and not scientifically applied.

Why you should be concerned
The consequences of ineffective lubrication can be excessive downtime, high spares consumption, food and operator safety risks and ultimately an expensive toll on the maintenance budget. In other words, lubrication actions can often cause as many problems as they solve:

  • Frequent re-lubrication implies grease and labour costs, re-lubrication to purge bearing positions
  • Contamination risk: food safety can often be compromised by over-lubricating
  • Operator safety: re-lubricating in hazardous working area with difficult access. Additionally - leaking seals can cause slips and trips. The cost of absenteeism due to injuries is high
  • Resources & skills: challenge of skill level in the industry to perform the correct re-lubrication and retaining that knowledge

The industry is sending warning signs
Ever tightening industry regulations to ensure food safety are demanding different ways of managing lubrication. Very often lubrication management review is part of the HACCP certification and is checked by third party regulators, which can be employed by the producer or imposed on them by their customers, often retailers. The new Food Safety Modernisation Act (2011) for example is designed to prevent contamination in the food chain, rather than define reactive procedures for dealing with problems, once they arise.
You certainly would not wish to be one of those companies faced with a recall due to food safety issues.
As a result of safety or health recall of food product:

  • 55% would switch brands at least temporarily
  • 16% would never purchase the product again
  • 17% would avoid any product with the recalled brand (Harris Poll, 2014)

Furthermore, companies are pressured to set targets for environment and sustainability, which can be impacted by the way lubrication and relubrication is executed. Zero landfill is one of the common KPIs to follow and the trend is to change from a disposal oriented to an avoidance focused environmental strategy. (The Zero Landfill Initiative)
For example, it is common practice to re-lubricate bearings after each washdown. During this process, excess grease is dis-charged past the bearing seals (purged). This can compromise food safety, people safety and of course asset reliability. At the next wash down cycle, the grease is washed away and into the plant’s waste water.

Managing lubrication as a strategy instead of lubrication management as a practice
It is now time the food and beverage industry should reconsider the way lubrication is practiced on sites and look into alternative technologies that provide food & operator safety, optimized costs and environmental benefits in the same time.
Among the dedicated technologies available to support management of the lubrication of food and beverage processing machinery, relubrication-free bearings and advanced sealing systems have emerged as potential solutions that can mitigate against risk of food and operator safety, also avoiding excess lubricants being washed into the waste water stream or disposing of grease cleaning wipes.

Start with pro-actively assessing costs, risks, opportunities and benefits of managing lubrication
At SKF, we have found that a Technical Assessment of a production process provides the structure to readily identify potential issues, risks, opportunities and benefits in moving from current approaches. And the good news is that it does not require much of your time and from this it should be easy to plan short, medium and long term activities.

Challenge the “always done it this way”
Identification of potential negative impacts on HACCP can lead to areas for improvement where SKF offers a range of technology and service offerings dedicated to helping you manage lubrication. These cover for example

  • Re-lubrication free bearing technologies
  • High efficiency seals that keep lubricants in and contaminants out
  • Lubrication management: we can review and optimize lubrication strategy and lubrication routines in order to:
    • Apply the right amount of lubricant at the right intervals manually or through automatic systems
    • Use the right tools following the correct methods
    • Set up an appropriate training program for maintenance technicians and operators
  • SKF can also provide a smart way to detect poor lubrication condition by analyzing vibration data through ‘vibration parameters’.

There are different ways to meet this challenge - at SKF we can do more than traditional lubrication management looking only at lubricants and the way to apply them; we can bring technologies that take away the need to re-lubricate, adding value from a food safety, cost , reliability or environmental perspective. What makes the difference is our deep knowledge of rotating equipment, industry experience and commitment to reduce your cost of ownership.

Fact box 1:
“15-25% of maintenance budget is lost due to poor lubrication management” – food and beverage industry estimation

Fact box 2:
Unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees. (

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: August 3, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 25 July 2016: SKF has boosted its presence in Latin America still further, with a two-year contract to supply a wide range of bearings and support services to CMPC, one of the major Chilean pulp and paper companies.

CMPC is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pulp, tissue, forestry and paper and packaging products. The company operates in eight countries in Latin America, employs over 17,000 people and exports to customers around the globe.

CMPC’s facilities in Latin America include extensive and sustainably managed forestry plantations, plus a range of saw, pulp, containerboard, corrugated, plywood and tissue mills. The company also has plants for moulded products and recycling, plus a paper distribution business unit.

Throughout, the focus is on quality and efficiency, with the reliability of every production system being critical. Francisco Javier Morales, Assistant Manager for Procurement at CMPC, explains, “We operate a lean business model, with all our production lines being optimised to maximise output as safely, efficiently and sustainably as possible. We therefore work closely with our suppliers to ensure that this philosophy is reflected across the supply chain and build strong relationships with strategic partners such as SKF.”

The new agreement between CMPC and SKF means that SKF will become a supplier of bearings, housings and accessories, for all of CMPC’s plants in Chile. The list of specified SKF products includes: Spherical Roller Bearings, Deep Groove Ball Bearings, Cylindrical Roller Bearings, Self-Aligning Ball Bearings and CARB Toroidal Roller Bearings, plus a variety of linear motion and sealing products.

Oscar Olivares Reyes, Key Account Manager for Pulp & Paper at SKF, highlights the fact that, “many of these products are used in extremely demanding applications, with extremes of temperature and humidity, and are installed in areas that are difficult to access. Our reputation for product quality and reliability, plus our long track record of supplying bearings to the pulp and paper sector, therefore played an important role in helping us secure the new contract.”

Francisco Javier Morales adds, “Our decision to be partner with SKF was also based on their ability to provide a range of training, technical support and consultancy services, which will help us optimise plant efficiency and reliability still further.”

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: July 25, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 21 July 2016:

Alrik Danielson, President and CEO:

“Net sales in the second quarter was SEK 18.4billion. Organic sales development was in-line with ourexpectations, 4% higher than the previous quarter and 4% loweryear-over-year.

Although markets remain challenging, our costreduction initiatives, including the profit improvement programmewithin Automotive, are materializing according to plan. Thiscontrib­uted to an 11% operating margin excluding one-time items.Cash flow generation was a solid SEK 1.2 billion (excludingdivestments and acquisitions), around SEK 500 million higher thanlast year. This continued resilient performance is a sign that weare on the right track in our effort to shape SKF into beingleaner, more customer-focused and competitive.

The consolidation of three factories in NorthAmerica was announced on 9 June, including an investment of SEK 150million in manufacturing upgrades. This is the latest activity inour ongoing programme of investments in making our manufac­turingmore flexible, competitive and better suited to serve ourcustomers.

The divestments of our Kaydon velocity controland fly-by-wire businesses were completed on 30 June. As a result,we received SEK 3 125 million, which contributed positively to cashflow in the quarter. The effect on net profit was SEK -380 million,mainly related to taxes that we expect to pay in the comingquarters. In total, over SEK 4 billion has now been raised throughthe divestments of non-core businesses during the last 12months.

As we look ahead, we see signs of the marketstabilizing. Entering the third quarter of 2016, demand for SKF’sproducts and services is expected to be relatively unchangedcompared to the same period last year. Sequentially, demand isexpected to be weaker, in-line with normal seasonality.”

Key figures, SEKmQ2 2016Q2 2015YTD 2016YTD 2015
Net sales18 37019 96136 09039 415
Operating profit excl. one-time items2 0202 5773 9924 953
Operating margin excl. one-time items, %11.012.911.112.6
One-time items in operating profit-145-194-242-849
Operating profit1 8752 3833 7504 104
Operating margin, %10.211.910.410.4
Profit before taxes, excl. operating and financialone-time items1 8012 4353 5564 602
Profit before taxes1 6562 2413 3143 833
Net cash flow after investments beforefinancing4 2251 6544 7352 642
Net sales change y-o-y, %:OrganicStructureCurrencyTotal
Q2 2016-4.4-0.6-3.0-8.0
Organic sales change in local currencies, perregion y-o-y, %:EuropeNorth AmericaLatin AmericaAsiaMiddle East &Africa
Q2 20161.8-13.1-2.1-5.91.8

Outlook for the third quarter2016

Demand compared to the third quarter2015
The demand for SKF’s products and services isexpected to be relatively unchanged for the Group, including bothAutomotive and Industrial. Demand is expected to be slightly higherin Europe, relatively unchanged in Latin America, slightly lower inAsia and significantly lower in North America.

Demand compared to the second quarter2016
The demand for SKF’s products and services isexpected to be lower for the Group. Demand for Industrial isexpected to be slightly lower and demand for Automotive is expectedto be lower. Demand is expected to be relatively unchanged in LatinAmerica, slightly lower in Asia and North America and lower inEurope.

A teleconference will be held on 21July at 9:00(CEST):
SE: +46 8 5065 3936
UK: +44 20 3427 1914
US: +1 212 444 0895

You will find all information regardingthe SKF Half-year report 2016 on the Group’s IRwebsite.  

Aktiebolaget SKF

The information in this press release is informationwhich AB SKF is required to disclose under the EU Market AbuseRegulation (EU) No 596/2014 and pursuant to the Securities MarketsAct. The information was provided by the above contact persons forpublication on 21 July 2016 at 8:00 CEST

Posted: July 21, 2016, 6:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 19 July 2016: SKF has received an American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) Supplier Recognition Award for the contribution its specialised bearings and seals have made to the firm’s success. Accepting the global accolade for the first time, SKF was one of three companies to be honoured as part of AAM’s 22nd Annual Supplier Day at its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

SKF was selected to receive the award for its outstanding quality products, technology leadership, customer service and cost competitiveness. It currently supports AAM globally with multiple types of seals and bearings included in driveline and drivetrain systems for multiple product families.

Jake Stiteler, executive director, Global Procurement for AAM, who presented the award to SKF, said: “AAM's supplier community plays a critical role in our mission to provide our customers with high-quality, highly advanced products. SKF played a key part in AAM's success over the last year and we will continue to look to them and our other suppliers to help us exceed our customers' expectations in the future.”

Stiteler added that SKF had differentiated itself from the rest of the suppliers and highlighted as an example its prompt yet effective delivery of a unitized seal for a power transfer unit, developed by SKF China in just three months, meeting the requirements of a challenging application.

Gregg Rasmussen, President Automotive Sealing Solutions at SKF, said: “We are honoured to receive this global award for the first time and it is an excellent testament to the hard work we have put into making the partnership with AAM an extremely successful one. We look forward to continuing to build on that relationship to further support AAM in serving its customers and meeting its business objectives.”

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: July 19, 2016, 12:00 pm

Gothenburg, 6 July 2016: The SKF Group will publishits results for the second quarter on 21 July 2016 and welcomesinvestors, analysts and members of the media to take part in aconference call, which will be held in English, at 09:00 (CET),08:00 (UK time).

As previously announced, SKF’s segment reporting willchange as of the second quarter 2016. The Group’s segment reportingwill be specified into Automotive and Industrial. Restated figuresfor 2014, 2015 and Q1 2016 are available on:

To join the conference call, please dial-in using thefollowing details at least 10 minutes

before the start of the call:
SE: +46 8 5065 3936
UK: +44 20 3427 1914
US: +1 212 444 0895

Please inform the operator that you wish to take partin the SKF conference call.

The SKF Group's results for the second quarter 2016will be published around 08:00 (CET).

All information regarding the results will be madeavailable on the Group’s website:

Media: To book interviews with Alrik Danielson andChristian Johansson after the conference call, please contact TheoKjellberg on / +46 725 77 65 76.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: July 6, 2016, 1:30 pm

Gothenburg, 30 June 2016: SKF has completed thepreviously announced divestments of its fly-by-wire business toLORD Corporation and its Kaydon velocity control business toStabilus.

The total consideration of the fly-by-wire divestmentis EUR 39 million. The total consideration of the Kaydon velocitycontrol divestment is USD 339 million. Both transactions are on acash- and debt-free basis.  The cash flow impact from thesetwo divestments, net after tax payment, is estimated at around SEK2 800 million. The net income effect is estimated at around SEK-350 million, which refer primarily to tax costs. These will beaccounted for during Q2 2016.

The fly-by-wire business, which manufactures cockpitcontrol systems, sensors, dampers and electromechanical actuatorshad annual sales in 2015 of EUR 37 million, and 150 employees.

The Kaydon velocity control business, which includesthe ACE, Hahn Gasfedern, Fabreeka and TechProducts brands, hadsales in 2015 of approximately USD 120 million and 550employees.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: June 30, 2016, 6:10 pm
Both speed and precision are desirable attributes for the bearings used in spindles for machine tooling applications. High-speed capability and accuracy are significant factors also for woodworking and other ‘soft material’ industries.

Add the increasing pressures of a globalised market – productivity, efficiency, competition – and the buyers of bearings for electrospindles are eager for ways to improve quality without increasing costs.

SKF is a major supplier of bearings for HSD, one of the world’s leading producers of electrospindles for woodworking applications. As such, SKF decided to work with its long-time customer to develop a new series of bearings that would meet the needs of its client and the industry as a whole. HSD (the name stands for “high speed development”), located in Pesaro, Italy, represents 60 per cent of the world market for electrospindles for light applications, and, as such, is the industry’s point of reference.

HSD and SKF have been collaborating since 1992, when the former was founded. SKF provides a bearing not only for HSD’s spindles but across the customer’s product range, including boring heads, 5-axis heads, and aggregates. From the outset, the Italian company was drawn by SKF’s reputation for quality and its technical support, as well as the breadth and depth of SKF’s assortment of super-precision bearings.

So in 2012, Mario Mattia, SKF Sales Manager Machine tools Italy, and Massimo Sandri, SKF Account Manager Machine tools Italy, sat down with the managers of HSD to define the requisites for a new competitive bearing specifically for woodworking sector spindles. “Our challenge was to develop a standardised product that would satisfy the requirements of different clients. We realised it was a demanding task,” says Mattia. SKF also talked with the technical offices of other clients to define the main requirements of spindles dedicated to this application. The next six months were devoted to internal development and testing.

By 2013, SKF was ready to supply prototypes to HSD. “We got it right the first time because HSD was fully convinced after testing the prototypes,” reports Mattia with satisfaction. By mid 2014, SKF was supplying a series range of bearings and at the end of the year it signed an 18-month contract with HSD.

SKF had developed what is now the S70 .. W series -- sealed super-precision hybrid angular contact ball bearings for woodworking applications.
“Listening our customers’ needs, we found that an18° contact angle was the optimized solution,” notes Sandri.
The bearing was also designed to deliver accurate preload, prior to mounting, equal to zero and is available in a range from 25 to 55 mm shaft diameter.
Furthermore, the solution has an optimised PEEK cage with patented design that reduces noise and vibration, especially at low to medium speeds. It combines very high stability at low/medium speeds with the ability to accommodate very high speeds (speed factor A = 1.6 million n dm ).
“As a result, the client perceives a better-running product,” Mattia points out.

The rolling elements are made of bearing grade silicon nitride Si3N4 and rings of bearing steel. These hybrid bearings offer higher speed capability, more rigidity, less energy consumption, reduced frictional heat, reduced centrifugal and inertial forces within the bearing. They are also less prone to damage in situations of rapid starts and stops.
The bearings have non-contact seals fitted on both sides and are filled with premium grease. These sealed bearings have been filled with the appropriate amount of high-quality grease under exacting conditions at the SKF factory. The seals hold the lubricant inside so the client can use the bearings directly without having to lubricate. Therefore mounting time for the client is faster. This feature also avoids possible contamination or introduction of impurities and has been so well received that, according to Mattia, other clients who had not previously considered sealed bearings are now using them. special packaging with 15 bearings per box. The result is less handling and materials disposal for the client, and easier logistics for both supplier and customer.

Reactions of the market launch of the SKF S 70 .. W series have been very positive, with clients enthusiastic about the performance of the bearings. “At SKF, we are aware of the ever-increasing demands on spindle applications in the workplace. With that in mind, we developed this new cost-effective bearing series that offers high-speed capabilities together with lower sound and vibration levels ” notes Sandri.

Meanwhile, both speed and precision continue as change agents in the partnership between SKF and HSD. The two companies have begun discussions on bringing intelligence into HSD spindles through SKF bearings.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 23, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 21 June 2016: SKF is sparking conversation and spreading ideas with a new series of a knowledge-sharing symposium called “Let’s Talk”. Industry experts are discussing industry trends such as Digitalization, Industry Ecology and Counterfeiting in front of a live audience at leading universities.

The latest “Let’s Talk” event focuses on Smart Robotics and how it will affect the factory of the future. Speakers are Danica Kragic, Professor for Computer Science, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH; Daniel Wäppling, Head of Product Architecture, ABB Robotics and Roberto Napione, Head of Machine Centre of Excellence, SKF.

“Pushing innovation with smart robots, which are able to assemble bearings in different sequences will improve the industry’s operational efficiency and reduce maintenance times, says Roberto Napione, SKF. “However, the robot itself will not be enough. It needs to be integrated into a smart, Big Data environment within the factory. In this regard, smart robots will not necessarily reduce jobs, but rather transform them. In the future, we will see factories with people who are collaborating with robots, building environments, conditions and software between them.

The recorded symposiums are available on SKF’s YouTube channel. Further information can also be found on our website: or by following the hashtag #LetsTalkSmartRobotics across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

More “Let’s Talk” videos will be published in the upcoming months.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 21, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 21 June 2016: SKF has signed contracts worth over SEK 1 billion with Rolls-Royce to supply main shaft bearings for their new gas turbine engine programmes.

SKF’s main shaft bearings will be used in a number of Rolls-Royce engines, including the Trent XWB gas turbine engine. The Trent XWB is the sixth generation of the Trent family of engines, designed specifically for the Airbus A350 XWB family of aircraft.

Rutger Barrdahl, head of SKF’s aerospace business, says: “We are able to provide Rolls-Royce with the long-term capacity, security of supply and commitment to invest in product development that meet their needs and match our own ambitions within world-class manufacturing.”

Deliveries for the new engine programmes have commenced and are expected to reach their full rate by 2018.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: June 21, 2016, 6:30 am
Gothenburg, 20 June 2016: SKF has secured a three-year contract with Compañia Minera Antamina S.A. (Antamina), to provide Proactive Reliability Maintenance services at the company’s open-pit copper mine in Peru. Antamina is jointly owned by BHP Billiton, Glencore, Teck and Mitsubishi Corporation, who have jointly invested over USD 3.5 billion in the site, making it one of the largest mining investments in Peru’s history.

John Schmidt, President, Industrial Sales, Americas, says: “For mine operators, many of which are located in remote areas, critical equipment failure can be very costly. By applying our knowledge within the fields of tribology, vibrational analysis and thermography, we are able to support Antamina in reducing the risk of reoccurring failures, contributing to improved machine efficiency.”

SKF’s Proactive Reliability Maintenance services will apply best practice predictive maintenance activities, including non-destructive testing of critical mining and plant equipment, to diagnose the root causes of failures at the Antamina mine. Together with Antamina’s own maintenance teams, SKF will then take the necessary steps to help eliminate reoccurrences by, for example, adjusting lubrication use, shaft alignment and seals or bearing selection.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 20, 2016, 6:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 16 June, 2016: At ONS 2016, the offshore exhibition and conference in Stavanger, Norway, SKF will highlight a broad range of offerings that can boost reliability and efficiency in the onshore and offshore sector – ranging from bearings and seals for top drives, through to improved maintenance solutions.

SKF Enlight is a data collection, analysis and support system that will help energy companies move their paper-based maintenance processes online. Available as a mobile device app, it simplifies inspection by connecting to a wide variety of sensors. Once collected, process data – along with photos and video – can be wirelessly uploaded directly to the SKF cloud and analysed.

On show at ONS will be an innovative design of tapered roller thrust bearing (TRThB), designed to significantly improve the reliability of top drive systems. The TRThB has been developed using a new generation of advanced simulation technology, which has enabled SKF to optimise the internal geometry of the bearing.  Combined with a new type of cage, modified roller design and the use of specially machined bearing surfaces, this has reduced friction to a minimum, helped to extend lubrication life, even under extreme temperatures, and increased the load rating and shock resistance. SKF anticipates that the new TRThB will help to extend the operating life of top drives, while reducing operating costs.

SKF has also developed a special seal that can be more easily installed in wellheads. The Locking T-seal – patented by SKF,– has a small ‘notch’ that ensures correct installation and reduces the chance of it being damaged. The product is now being validated for full use in the oil and gas industry.  Other seals from the SKF range being shown at ONS 2016 include a new range of S and FS seals, which are fully validated to the API 6A-17D standards necessary for use in wellheads.

Other highlights at ONS include SKF’s latest S2M active magnetic bearings using the same technology as in the first ever subsea compressor project. These contact-free devices are powered by advanced electromagnets, which generate radial and axial forces to levitate a central shaft and allow it to rotate without friction. An integrated control system actively monitors and continuously adjusts the current to maintain shaft position. This creates a device that offers exceptionally high levels of precision and stability, even at extreme speeds, making it ideal for demanding offshore applications (offshore, subsea, onshore). Thanks to SKF’s experience with over 1000 units installed, Statoil confidently specified SKF S2M active magnetic bearings for their Åsgard subsea gas compression system, which is now operating 300m below the surface of the North Sea.

Also on show will be SKF slewing bearings, (including Kaydon) and a new sensor bearing unit.

The SKF MTE-324T slewing ring bearings are used in top drives and other applications, from cranes to riser connections, and feature a 4-point contact design. This adjusts for radial, axial and moment loads and features integral seals to resist contamination and extend service life.

The new sensor bearing unit is designed to cut downtime by improving the monitoring and control of electric motors, which work in extreme conditions. The new unit uses rugged speed sensor technology, incorporated into a simple unitised assembly, to enable it to easily retrofitted in the field to top drives or drawworks machines.

ONS 2016 takes place at the Stavanger Forum in Stavanger, Norway on 29 August – 1 September 2016. Visitors to the event will find SKF at Booth 960.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 16, 2016, 11:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 16 June, 2016: SKF will launch two new products at the SMM show while showcasing a wide range of its latest offerings for the maritime sector.

The first new launch is a redesigned Simplex Intermediate shaft bearing, which can be mounted on SKF Vibracon chocks – self-leveling, height-adjustable and reusable chocks that are used for mounting all types of rotating or critically aligned machinery.

Simplex Intermediate shaft bearings have a short shell length, and can be aligned precisely in order to avoid edge loading. They were specifically developed for shaft line of ship propulsion systems. This latest version has a new housing design which features reduced weight and compactness for easy installation and maintenance.

The second launch is the Dynamic Stabilizer Cover (DSC), which closes the hull of the SKF retractable fin stabilizers. The DSC comprises of two inflatable cushions fixed to the stabilizer fin box. If the stabilizer is not in use, the cushions are inflated by high-pressure air in order to close the hull. This improves flow profile and reduces fuel consumption. To bring the stabilizers into use, the cushions are deflated – allowing the fin stabilizer to move past – and then re-inflated, to re-close the hull.

Other new products that SKF has launched during the year and that will be on show at SMM include the Turbulo Sludge Buoy – a mechanical device that separates oil and water, eliminating manual drainage. Also on show is the SKF Marine Condition Monitoring Route Kit– a sophisticated condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance solution that has cloud connectivity to cut downtime and boost fleet reliability. Furthermore, the company will present its environmental monitoring system that ensures compliance to environmental regulations by storing and mapping the ships emission data - SKF BlueMon.

Many of these and other exhibits will be backed by case studies, to better illustrate how they can help fulfil customer needs.

See SKF at SMM 2016: Hall A1, stand 210

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 16, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 9 June 2016: SKF today announces theconsolidation of its manufacturing facilities in North America,including the closure of its sites in San Diego, California andBaltimore, Maryland. 

Restructuring costs are expected to amount to aroundSEK 300 million, of which around SEK 100 million will be accountedfor during Q2 2016 and the remainder as they occur.  Theconsolidation is expected to generate full year cost savings ofaround SEK 220 million from 2019, whereof around SEK 70 million isexpected to be achieved in 2018.

Luc Graux, President, Bearing Operations, says:“These activities will strengthen our position in North America,making us more competitive and better able to support ourcustomers, by improving the utilisation of our manufacturingassets.  They also provide the foundation for investments inthe further development of our manufacturing processes andtechnologies.”

Production will be transferred from the Group’s sitein Hanover, Pennsylvania, to Flowery Branch, Georgia. Takingcustomer commitments into account, the move will consolidateproduction of spherical roller bearings and large size rollerbearings into our existing bearing manufacturing operations inFlowery Branch. With a stronger, more efficient manufacturing base,the Group will be better able to serve its North Americancustomers.

Production of rings and seals for the aerospaceindustry will be relocated to Hanover from SKF’s existing factoryin Baltimore, Maryland, which will be closed.  Discussionsover the effects this will have on employees in Hanover andBaltimore will occur with their respective employeerepresentatives.

Investments totalling SEK 150 million will be made inupgrading machinery and manufacturing processes in Hanover andFlowery Branch, part of the Group’s strategy to implementworld-class manufacturing technologies.

Manufacturing and development of condition monitoringsolutions will be moved from SKF’s existing site in San Diego,California, to other sites in Europe. This will enable the Group tooffer customers better condition monitoring solutions, faster, asthe development team will be centralised in the same region, closeto the rest of SKF’s technical competence centres across Europe. Atechnical support team will remain in San Diego, but in a separatefacility. 

The Y-Bearing and Units production channels inPuebla, Mexico, which serve North American customers within theagriculture segment, will be closed, with production transferred toother SKF sites.

Consolidation of the sites in Hanover, FloweryBranch, Baltimore and San Diego is expected to take approximately18-24 months. The closure of the Y-Bearing and Units productionchannels in Puebla, Mexico is expected to be completed during thesummer of 2016.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: June 9, 2016, 2:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 June, 2016: SKF’s industry leading technologies and design engineering support are helping to enhance the reliability and reduce the life cycle cost of propulsion units that will drive the most powerful liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers in the world. The Azipod® propulsion units, developed by ABB, are being installed on the 170,000-cubic metre ice-breaking LNG tankers that will be used as part of the Yamal project to open up gas from the Yamal peninsula and transport it to Asia and Europe.

The project, which will see the first vessels commissioned in South Korea in 2016, is expected to produce 16.5 million metric tonnes of LNG per year. However, this does not come without its own unique set of challenges as the Yamal peninsula is located inside the Arctic Circle and is locked in ice for most of the year. Indeed, the remote and fragile environment will be extremely harsh and calls only for machinery and components that are rugged enough to keep going in severe operating conditions at all times throughout the year.

Consequently, ABB Marine chose to work with SKF on the development of its Azipod propulsion units for 10 LNG carriers because of its application engineering expertise, particularly in demanding applications, and proven reliable innovations. Included in SKF’s offering are custom made thrust bearing arrangements, which incorporate housing and seals, and high performance self-aligning CARB toroidal roller bearings for the propeller shafts. By implementing such products, ABB was able to build in superior operating reliability with a long service life. SKF has a successful background of more than 10 years of engineering and delivering units for ice going projects which still today are in service.

In addition, SKF is providing assembly and installation supervision in the ABB Marine factory.

Sami Kontturi, Project Manager at SKF, said: “We are privileged to be lending our expertise and state of the art technologies to one of the largest industrial undertakings in the Arctic. With our engineering support and products we can help ABB and its Azipod propulsion units to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency on the LNG carriers as the Yamal project takes a great step forward in the global search for natural resources.”

In addition to the bearing arrangements supplied for the Yamal vessels, SKF has also delivered Turbulo Bilge water separators and SKF BlueMon, an environmental monitoring system for recording and mapping ship emissions.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 9, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 June, 2016: Ships were once meant solely for the seas and major maintenance was resigned to the docks. However, digital technology is making waves in the marine sector and as such, the concept of taking a ship 'online' – by making its on-board data available to onshore experts – is becoming ever more common.  The thrust for this change is down to a need to achieve improvements in three critical areas: maintenance, environmental performance and safety.

Take the example of cruise ship operator Costa Group. Its fleet operation centre (FOC), which opened recently in Hamburg, Germany, acts as a central information hub for 26 of its cruise vessels. The FOC, which operates around the clock, is staffed by 14 specialists who receive data directly from the vessels and analyse it accordingly.

While other ship operators run similar operations, Costa Group's FOC is the most well known, and is technically very advanced. It is a fantastic advertisement for the importance of on-board data monitoring.

CM systems

Condition Monitoring (CM) is concerned with maintenance, and is already widely used in shipping. SKF has installed its CM systems in more than 600 vessels. However, the vast majority of these use standalone software installed on the ship: crewmembers check bearings, for example, and then decide if any action is needed. They will typically gather data using hand-held portable devices. While they have access to onshore expertise, these are not 'connected' systems.

The cloud based equivalent monitors machinery with fixed sensors, whose signals are beamed wirelessly to a central onshore facility – similar to the FOC – where experts can give guidance on how best to maintain particular machines or components.

In general, the industry has been slow to move towards 'connected' CM systems. There is a level of discomfort for crewmembers, for instance, who feel that management would be 'looking over their shoulders'. For smaller ship owners, there is an added complexity of managing such an operation.

However, there are drivers for change. One is the perennial problem of cost. The shipping industry is under huge cost pressure, and dry dock maintenance forms a large part of this. Proper implemented Condition Based Maintenace (CBM) combined with state of the art CM can help to extend the period between these expensive maintenance exercises. SKF already has approvals for thruster monitoring system– which now need maintaining every 7.5 years rather than every five years.

Environmental importance

Similar systems are also available to monitor crucial environmental data: SKF's BlueMon, for instance, helps crews cope with fast-changing environmental regulations. Rules for the Atlantic Ocean are different to those for the Baltic Sea, so sailing between them can mean that operations must be changed. A good example is bilge water: discharges into the Baltic are under stricter control than they are for the Atlantic – so an online, connected system like BlueMon helps to prevent 'illegal' discharges.

Far from undermining the crew, BlueMon can help them meet their responsibilities. It overlays a GPS map of the world with details of the latest local regulations – and can even disable the bilge water output valve if necessary.

An online system can also provide hidden benefits: by knowing the time of the next docking slot, for example, a ship can slow down – and use less fuel – rather than steaming into port and waiting hours for the next slot.

Future trends

Within 10 years, it's likely that every major ship owner will be using some kind of 'global' online system. They will have the necessary size to manage the complexity of these systems, but will also reap the benefits: spotting how one ship saves fuel could be transferred to the entire fleet. Most smaller players are still likely to choose cloud based systems, and use handheld data gathering equipment.

It's still early days for online CM in the shipping industry, so SKF does not yet have a dedicated 'central control room' for ships – but we do have one for offshore wind turbines. Located in Hamburg, it is staffed by five people and looks after 140 turbines worldwide.

There are two main differences between ships and wind turbines: because turbines are stationary, data can be transferred via cable (rather than needing satellite connectivity); and the operating conditions on-board ship can be far more complex depending of number of units to be monitored and operation condition of these.

However, with using a smart system of pre-evaluation of the data onboard by available software and thereby minimising the data volume ship owners have to control, and subsequently lowering the cost for the needed satellite connectivity, in the end there is no real difference (technically or cost-wise) between Remote Diagnostic Systems for Offshore Windmills or ships sailing the seven seas.

Once the shipping industry has a critical mass in the use on online CBM, SKF expects to be providing its own 'Fleet Support Center'' to maintain the health of critical components on-board ship.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 9, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 June, 2016: SKF has launched a sophisticated condition monitoring system with cloud connectivity to cut downtime and increase fleet reliability through enabling predictive maintenance in the marine sector. Introduced to the market for the first time at Posidonia 2016, the SKF Marine CM Route Kit, includes all the tools needed to implement reliable condition monitoring techniques onboard ships and allows operators to adopt an integrated approach to condition based maintenance on their entire fleet.

The kit, which includes the SKF Microlog handheld monitoring device and dedicated marine software with marine typical equipment models, can be used on all kind of vessels, as well as offshore platforms to collect data on machine and component condition. For each asset it will gauge the overall vibration levels and will be able to identify possible issues, such as imbalance, misalignment, wear, mechanical looseness, and bearing and gear faults

The measurement data is securely transferred via satellite to the SKF One Global Cloud, where SKF’s Condition Monitoring (CM) expert remote diagnostic team can retrieve and analyse the assets data as part of its maintenance consulting services. Furthermore all data can easily be accessed by the chief engineer and fleet manager, closing the loop and involving the crew in the Condition-based maintenance process.

The SKF CM expert analysis output are the recommended actions of needed maintenance which are sent to the chief engineer to take the appropriate actions and to keep the assets running smooth and efficiently.

By introducing long term monitoring and machine efficiency evaluation techniques, the SKF Marine CM Route Kit allows industry professionals to adopt a centralised predictive maintenance programme across their entire fleets. Through the detection of the machine conditions that lead to failure, proactive remedial work can be carried out to extend maintenance intervals, eliminate potential breakdowns and ensure consistently high operational safety, while also enhancing service life and reducing repair costs considerably. In addition, it is possible to coordinate the service and spare parts supply to generate further cost savings.

See SKF at Posidonia 2016: Hall 2, stand 2.409

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: June 9, 2016, 8:00 am
The oil and gas sector is under pressure to maintain operating margins. Oil prices have fallen dramatically in the last twelve months, mainly driven by over-supply. This has been due to a range of factors including new reservoir discoveries and drilling techniques, the shale fracking boom, weakness in major economies, growing availability of alternative energy sources and the introduction of ever more efficient combustion engines in cars, trucks and industrial and power generation plants.

Although the market for natural gas is slightly healthier, here too there is growing concern as short term supply is likely to exceed demand, with industry analysts predicting only modest annual growth of 2.4% to 2018 .

Continuing volatility across the supply chain seems likely to become the norm in the immediate future. Companies therefore need to prepare for uncertainty, adapting their operations to become increasingly agile while developing improved methods to derive maximum value from existing and future investments in extraction, refining and distribution systems and equipment.

Asset Management & cost optimization
The oil and gas sector has from the early days of volume production and commercialization led the world in the use of predictive and preventative maintenance, developing models followed by many other sectors of industry. These techniques have been used as key tools to improve plant and process safety, efficiency and optimization and have underpinned the growth of a new discipline of asset management.

Asset management is based on a strategic assessment that identifies plant improvement opportunities based on criticality and then defines and applies the most appropriate solutions. The objective is to incorporate business goals, application challenges and organizational culture into a road map that improves the reliability, performance and functionality of all operational extraction, process and distribution assets. A methodology of Asset Efficiency Optimization (AEO) is then applied to ensure that every asset is utilized as efficiently as possible, to maximize output without increasing capital expenditure, while reducing overall maintenance and operational costs.

A successful asset management program depends on a clearly defined strategy. This has to be driven by business goals, starting with an understanding of the current situation and a vision of where the business needs to be to achieve optimum performance.

Ref: PWC

This can be a difficult process to manage due to the complexity of the production and management systems found in many large, multi-site, multi-national oil and gas businesses. The starting point is generally to carry out a client needs analysis (CNA). This is based on a straightforward 40 question survey to provide a snapshot of the operation of each production facility, map the way in which its reliability processes are functioning and its position on the maintenance maturity continuum, benchmarked against industry averages and best practices. (see fig 1).

Once complete, the CNA provides the key data to draw up a detailed AEO plan to improve plant reliability and asset utilization. This work management procedure addresses four key areas: maintenance strategy, work identification, work control and work execution, providing an integrated methodology that reflects the unique processes, culture and technology at each facility or operation.

Taking a structured approach to asset management will be familiar to many companies in the oil and gas sector, especially larger organizations. However, what tends to occur is that over time carefully planned long term asset management programs become disrupted, due to financial restrictions, plant updates, company acquisitions, changes in regulations or the launch of new products. As a result, the viewpoint of managers and engineers becomes focused on short term internal issues, pushing longer term plans down the order of priority.

It’s also worth noting that although many companies in the sector have extremely effective asset management and plant reliability processes, these are not always systemized. Information and knowledge has been gained by plant engineers and operators over many years and remains largely locked in their heads, with only a small proportion being recorded and catalogued in a way that can easily be assimilated by new employees or third party contractors

A CNA analysis is a simple method of beginning the process, and can lead to the next phase, called an SKF Streamlined Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) project, where it is possible to begin capturing much of this valuable information in a way that is meaningful to plant engineers and senior managers alike.

Long term vision
The scale and complexity of most oil and gas operations means that to be truly successful an asset management strategy requires a clear vision and a long term tactical implementation plan. Anything less will almost certainly lead to an increase in operating costs, with the risk of growing levels of equipment downtime and system unreliability.

The growing market volatility and pressure on margins, combined with factors such as staff and skills shortages, and the particular demands of managing and maintaining oil and gas process systems, means that effective asset management can be a tough challenge.  For many businesses, partnering with an experienced, knowledgeable and specialized partner such as SKF provides a far more cost-effective option. Outsourcing all or strategic parts of the process can deliver greater flexibility, accountability and control; it can also relieve the pressure on existing resources, for example, freeing internal engineering teams to concentrate on other business-critical activities.

One organization that has decided to outsource its asset management process by partnering with SKF is a major US oil and gas pipeline transportation company.  The business operates over 12,000 miles of pipeline, 150 main pumping stations and a number of key distribution terminals at railheads, ports and road hubs. Over a ten-year period, however, the company has undergone several mergers and changes in ownership. Senior managers recognized that this had led to a gradual loss of focus on machine reliability, with inconsistent practices and methods of operation across the pipeline and distribution network; they also understood that the company’s predictive maintenance strategy required a complete revaluation but that the business lacked the necessary in-house resources to carry this out effectively.

Commissioned to carry out a CNA study and then to provide condition monitoring services using our network of field based service technicians to assess the status of around 700 pipeline assets across North America.

We later began investigating the most valuable assets, primarily at a number of key distribution terminals, focusing on critical systems and equipment. An important element in this procedure was the use of SKF’s RCM techniques. These concentrated on dominant failure modes and the effects of these failures; we then recommended specific actions to prevent problems reoccurring. Non-critical events were also evaluated and appropriate actions taken to optimize maintenance costs and increase productivity. The same approach is now being applied to the pipeline network of pumping stations.

SKF subsequently worked with the customer to begin developing standard job plans, which defined the critical steps that were required for each monitoring and maintenance activity, for example the repair of pump motors, including a list of the tools and parts needed, the repair steps involved and the time and resources required. This plan will be extended still further with a spare parts and stores optimization program (SPO), which minimizes stockholding and costs while improving the availability and location of key components to ensure that repairs are carried out quickly and cost-effectively.

This strategic approach to asset management has had both short and long term benefits for the customer. Outsourcing the management of condition monitoring services, paid for via an agreed monthly management fee, has allowed our customer to move the costs from CAPEX to OPEX budgets, making it far easier to cost-justify the program and improve cash-flow. Our strategic approach to asset management provides a clearly defined and consistent operating methodology that can easily be adapted as the needs of the customer’s business or the operating environment change, giving them a solution that is both secure and future-proof. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve delivered savings of over $1million in the first twelve months of the contract, through improved asset uptime and productivity, and reduced repair and maintenance costs. Savings that far outweigh the annual cost of the service contract.

Experience, knowledge & resources
Outsourcing is becoming increasingly common across industry, for core business services ranging from facilities management to logistics and IT. For companies in the oil and gas sector the challenge in outsourcing the management of mission and safety critical assets is finding a partner with the requisite knowledge, experience and global resources to provide the reassurance that each and every asset will be monitored and maintained to the highest standards at all times.

Major suppliers such as SKF are able to provide this reassurance. Just as importantly, as they have specific and specialized skills in the field of asset management, condition monitoring and preventative maintenance, they are able to deliver better results, faster and more efficiently than a comparable in-house function. An outsourced asset management partner adds an extra strategic dimension to the work of in-house maintenance and engineering teams, and can bring a fresh passion and sense of purpose. Ultimately, the outcome should be operational efficiencies, cost savings and improving levels of asset optimization that allows oil and gas companies to become increasingly agile in response to growing market volatility. At a recent program review meeting with the pipeline customer, a stakeholder applauded the fact that no asset under the SKF monitoring program had experienced a failure that could have been detected in 3 years. One of their seasoned rotating equipment specialists commented that “I can’t remember a contract or working relationship with a vendor that has been this close-knit. This reinforces the concept that success is not just about technology, but more about the people, their experience, their commitment personally and as part of a team.”

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: May 19, 2016, 8:00 am
What is IMx-M?

IMx-M is a protection system with a difference: it incorporates condition monitoring. When people approach us they are generally looking for a protection system: we’ve added condition monitoring to that.

The system protects and monitors critical and high-speed rotating machinery: power generation, pumps, aero engines, steam or gas turbines, motor-run systems – any machine that has high potential energy that could cause severe damage. It’s a sophisticated way of monitoring the condition of critical offshore machinery. Together with SKF @ptitude Monitoring Suite software, it enables end users to protect and enhance the reliability of assets and reduce machine downtime.

It’s a complete system for initiation of machinery shutdown, early fault detection, and diagnosis – and is API670 compliant. The majority of IMx-M sales are into the Oil & Gas industry, followed by power generation and other areas.

How is it set up?

To configure the system, we use IMx-M Manager to set up all the protection values.

The advantage over our competitors is that we can take all types of sensors into one card. Rival systems need a card for each parameter – such as temperature, acceleration, proximity probes, and so on. And, typically, they will only have four channels per card – whereas ours have 16. At the same time, the number of channels is creating a high rack channel density: that means fewer racks and cabinets, which reduces the size of the equipment room that you need.

Each channel is then given an alarm and trip setting – such as 10,000ms to trip – and IMx-M is set up as a protection system.

Then, we simply import this file into our Observer software, and that automatically creates the condition monitoring channels that take data from the inputs to the card. Our rack can take four cards, giving a total of 64 channels. And it has dual redundant power supplies – so if one fails, the other can fully support the system.

Why is there a need to combine protection and monitoring?

These days, there are fewer people running facilities – yet they have more to do. Safety has also improved, however, the greater your exposure to this type of machinery, the higher the risk. This is why protection systems are incorporating a monitoring aspect. It helps to cut the risk.

It’s also very cost-effective. With a protection system, the user has already invested in the main infrastructure components such as transducers, cables and cabinets. Adding the condition monitoring function re-uses these components, adding key functionality at little cost.

We recently supplied a system for a steam turbine in an oil power plant. The customer was already a user of SKF software – but, crucially, wanted a protection system that incorporated condition monitoring. Its existing system could not offer this, so we won the contract to replace it.

Is SKF a major player in this market?

It’s a very big market, dominated by one major player. If we can win a percentage of it, that’s huge. And this is already happening. Many installed systems have a lifespan of just 10-15 years, so there’s plenty of opportunity for us to replace competitor systems. We’ve done that recently with a Brazilian customer – where we replaced a competitor’s system with one of ours. We expect to do more of that in future.

Of course, there must be an incentive to switch. We know that our systems must be cost-effective, and perform as well – or better – than the incumbent system. It’s the software and the ease of use that need to be the differentiator.

It’s taken a while to build credibility in this market. A few years ago, oil companies were telling us: ‘Come back to us when you’ve made some sales.’ Now that we have, we’re going to do just that. We recently won a $20m contract with a major oil company, for example: working on that has driven a lot of the development of IMx-M.

The latest release is designed to present the analyst with a powerful and efficient tool for analyzing and diagnosing machinery problems. IMx-M distills more than 30 years of SKF experience in critical machinery monitoring.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: May 5, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 May, 2016: Today’s oil and gas industry is facing many challenges, including lower oil prices and environmental issues that are forcing companies to look into alternative methods of extraction. Many companies are recognising the need to innovate and are investing in long-term solutions.

Energy company Statoil is one of these innovative companies. It has understood the importance of being at the forefront of technology for cost cutting, environmental reasons and its long-term survival. “We realised that we needed to think differently when it came to the technology and turn every stone to bring down costs and cut our CO2 emissions,” says Torstein Vinterstø, Statoil’s Project Director for Åsgard.

For years Statoil has been working on the technology behind the world’s first-ever subsea gas compression system. In September 2015, it lowered its Åsgard subsea gas compression system in the North Sea, making it possible to recover more gas from the offshore fields up to unprecedented ratios.

Traditionally, gas compression takes place on platforms or onshore, quite a distance from the source. Locating a compressor as close to the well as possible offers a cheaper and more energy efficient alternative. It saves space, cuts down on maintenance and because it is unmanned and can be operated remotely, it removes the need for constant supervision and personnel.

The subsea gas compression system is located on the seabed in the Åsgard gas field 300 metres deep in the North Sea. Recovery from Åsgard’s two reservoirs, Midgard and Mikkel, will increase by at least 20 per cent, adding more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalents to the field’s output. The solution will significantly prolong the lifetime of the field’s production. Without the new solution, these reservoirs would have closed down prematurely and Statoil would have been forced to find other reserves.

Moreover, there are impressive environmental benefits. The subsea compressor requires some 40 per cent less power to operate than a traditional topside solution for the same service and it significantly reduces the CO2 emissions of a field. SKF’s magnetic bearing technology was a key enabler in turning this dream into a reality. “We chose SKF for their strength in bearings,” says Vinterstø. “It is the only company on the market with such a qualified product.”

Statoil and SKF have shared a long relationship that dates back to the 1980s and the two companies worked closely on the smart magnetic bearing technology, which is integrated inside the compressor casing. Engineers from both SKF and Statoil often worked side-by side with SKF coming up with ideas and suggesting ways to cut costs. “We had a lot of discussions and I think that this way of sharing gave them a better understanding of our end-user needs and lead to a better result,” says Vinterstø.

SKF’s magnetic bearings spin without making contact. This contact-free design is lubrication free, energy efficient and enables low vibration. The bearings can run continuously and control shafts rotating at very high speed, typically above critical modes not reachable by other bearings.

All of these factors were important when designing the subsea gas compression system. Keeping the system architecture simple, with as few components as possible, was vital due to space, weight and environmental considerations.

The magnetic bearings are integrated inside the electric motor driven compressor’s casing, eliminating the need for lubricating oil, seals and a gearbox. The frictionless magnetic bearings enable higher rotation speeds leading to smaller and lighter compressor modules and infrastructure.

SKF’s deep knowledge of high rotation speeds and how magnetic bearings function in industrial processes gave it the edge when designing the new application, but getting the technology to meet a host of regulations was a time-consuming process. The project took five years of intense development and testing, including simulating underwater sea conditions above ground in 6,000 hours of continual operation.

“Before the customer agreed to the bearings solution we did a topside version of the system to make sure that the components were suitable for the underwater environment,” says Jérémy Lepelley, Subsea & Oil & Gas Developments Sales Manager, at SKF Magnetic Mechatronics. “This helped us achieve top quality and meet the specifications for vibrations and more. We learned a lot with the Statoil project which moves us up in terms of technology and gives us an edge over the competition.”

There are many more applications for SKF’s magnetic bearings in the oil, gas and power generation industries. The bearings can be found onshore, offshore – and now subsea. Magnetic bearings are in industrial cooling chillers, blowers, pumps – everywhere there is a system rotating at high speed or where there is a need to cut down on CO2 emissions.

SKF has more than 130,000 magnetic bearings and high-speed electric motor references in operations across many industries and over 1,000 installations in the oil and gas industry.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: May 5, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 May, 2016: In the oil and gas industry, reliability is key to success. Unexpected downtime due to machinery or component failure results in massive cost both onshore and offshore sectors.

US regulations require that equipment used in the oil and gas industry is maintained every five years. Operators in the industry wish that their equipment would last this long: because of the punishing conditions and extreme environment, servicing is required long before the five-year period is up. Most often, after a few years only an overhaul is needed.

SKF has optimized a number of its products to make them appropriate for use in the oil and gas industry. One recent example is an improved tapered roller thrust bearing for top drives, which can help to prolong service intervals and save money.

The top drive – a critical mechanism that forms part of a drilling rig, generates enormous forces. As a consequence, the main internal thrust bearings must withstand extreme conditions: high shock loads, axial loads and possible shaft and housing deflections. At the same time, the combination of heavy loads and low speeds at extreme temperatures pushes the lubrication conditions to the limit –leading to faster wear.

SKF’s redesigned tapered roller thrust bearings can better overcome the above problems, helping to improve the performance and reliability of top drives. This is all the more important, considering that drill rigs are drilling deeper than ever before, putting higher demands on the equipment. One of the main causes of failure is excessive shock loads on the gearbox – and that is what the new bearing is designed to resist.

Outward appearance

There is no outward difference in the bearing’s appearance. In fact, it will look very similar to many competitive products. However, the devil is in the detail: advanced simulation helped SKF to fine-tune the internal geometry, giving the bearing the highest possible load rating.

One element is a new cage design. Using a pin-type cage – rather than a standard brass cage – allows more rollers to fit within the bearing, and thus withstand a greater load. That said, many customers will be fine with a brass cage – as the pin-type cage will be for extreme applications.

Other key design changes include optimising the logarithmic profile, which balances load distribution along each roller. At the same time, rollers are designed to be virtually identical to one another – reducing stress peaks on single rollers, as well as cutting noise and vibration.

While design changes were the key factor behind the performance of the new bearing, some manufacturing changes were also crucial. Enhancing the surface finish by using a different type of coating can help the bearing withstand the effect of marginal lubrication in extreme operating conditions. Drilling often takes place at -40 degrees C (-40F), which can cause the lubricant to thicken. This, combined with high loads, can affect correct lubrication – leading to bearing damage. The advanced surface finish maximizes the effect of the lubricant, reducing excessive friction and damage to the bearing contacts.

It’s important to note that the improved performance is achieved using standard quality SKF steel. For similar performance improvements, competitors are forced to use enhanced material specifications.

SKF has spent significant amount of time developing the new bearing design. It began by analysing SKF bearings that had been used in the field, in an attempt to understand – and overcome – any wear patterns that it found on them. Later, improved designs were modelled using simulation software. The optimized and improved design was validated by simulation tools and field tests.

In addition to these new tapered roller thrust bearings, SKF will showcase two other important bearing innovations at OTC 2016: Kaydon slewing ring bearings; and a sensor bearing unit. Both are appropriate for use in top drives.

Its Kaydon slewing ring bearings can be used in the pipe handling system that is fixed to the bottom of the gearbox of the top drive. Many OEMs save money by making a ‘tailor made’ version using a standard bearing and adding some tooth gears. A better solution is to use a slewing ring bearing with integrated gear, which can help cut failures in the pipe handler.

At the same time, its sensor bearing unit can be used in the top drive’s motor. The product was originally used in the railway industry, but has been adapted for oil and gas – including a version for top drives.. The single unit replaces a bearing and an encoder – and is thus more compact and robust.

Top drives are a critical part of any oil and gas operation, and anything that can improve them – such as these bearing innovations – will help to cut downtime and boost reliability.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: May 5, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 May, 2016: The oil and gas industry is struggling to adapt to a new economic environment. Price volatility remains high –but the combination of strong supply and slowing demand growth makes a rapid return to high prices unlikely.

Amid such prolonged, challenging conditions, offshore producers are under extraordinary pressure to reduce costs. In a sector where the long term cost trend has been upwards, turning the situation around requires wide ranging changes to operating practices. Many companies are recognising the need to innovate and are investing in long-term solutions.

Some of the drivers of lower productivity are inevitable, including tighter health, safety and environmental regulations, and more challenging technical conditions, but there is plenty that operators can improve, from better work scheduling to the introduction of leaner operating practices so personnel can spend more of their time on value adding activities.

Why maintenance matters

As offshore production assets age, the streamlining of maintenance and repair activities is becoming a key area of focus for operators seeking higher efficiency. Maintenance and reliability are critical to offshore productivity, because shutting down platforms for service or unscheduled repair is often the largest combined source of production losses.

Attempts to reduce reliability-related losses can put operators in a double bind, however. If they do not maintain equipment appropriately, they face the risk of costly and potentially dangerous unplanned stoppages. If inspection or replacement activities are scheduled too frequently, however, they produce their own sources of loss: driving up labour costs, extending the time required for maintenance turnarounds and increasing the chance that a maintenance intervention will inadvertently introduce new problems. Furthermore, plenty of in-service failures are random in nature, with assets as likely to fail early in life as to continue operating reliably into old age. That makes it difficult to plan meaningful time-based interventions.

Conditions for change

One way to resolve the maintenance challenge is the adoption of a condition-based approach. With advances in sensor and data analysis technology making the in-service monitoring of asset condition both more reliable and more affordable, it is no surprise that this is rapidly gaining ground as a preferred approach to drive up the reliability of offshore assets.

In general, the more sensitive and sophisticated the condition monitoring equipment used on an asset, the earlier it is able to warn of potential failures. Of course, with greater sophistication comes greater cost –- both in terms of the capital cost of sensors and analysis equipment and the effort required to configure, run and operate this equipment in the field. To achieve their goal of higher reliability at lower overall costs, therefore, offshore operators need to develop an appropriate strategy for individual assets, depending on the criticality of that equipment and the monitoring strategies available.

Basic asset care

The simplest condition-based strategies make use of handheld measuring devices to record asset characteristics and check for changes over time that could indicate potential failure. The SKF Microlog Analyzer CMXA 51-IS, for example, is an intrinsically safe, rugged and portable, hand-held instrument for the collection of vibration, process, and dynamic data in hazardous environments. The device can be connected to a variety of sensors including accelerometers, velocity transducers, displacement probes and infrared temperature sensors. The unit provides overall measurements and, when required, FFT spectrum analysis to allow the user to pinpoint problems such as bearing related issues, imbalance or misalignment. Data can also be transferred to a computer for trending and further analysis.

Better asset care

As assets become more critical, it becomes more important to identify potential problems earlier, allowing the operator to schedule an appropriate intervention, and ensure the required personnel, tools and equipment are brought together on site to minimise downtime or interference with other operations.

Operators work in close proximity to equipment, so they are usually the first to detect even the slightest changes in process conditions and machinery health; this can range from abnormal readings, odd noises, excessive heat and vibration, to leaks or pressure drops. The SKF Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) programme, enables this valuable source of data to be easily collected, analysed and acted upon. For example, operators can use handheld devices to capture data that is accurate and traceable. If abnormal conditions are detected, the operator is immediately prompted to take corrective action or initiate computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) work notification requests.

ODR empowers front-line operators to take a proactive role in communicating their findings and carry out early corrective action. In this way, operations teams become an integral part of a reliability-based asset management strategy, minimising unplanned downtime while increasing productivity and availability.

Monitoring critical assets

For larger and more critical assets where safety implications, production interruptions, difficult or dangerous access, and the costs of failure are significant, a permanent online monitoring system is more suitable and reliable than handheld data collection devices. In some instances, permanent on-line systems are used in conjunction with handheld or periodic data collection instruments, thus facilitating a more holistic approach to reliability and productivity, with round-the-clock monitoring of machinery.

The data itself is gathered and transmitted via permanently installed sensors, which can either be hardwired to junction boxes, or as is becoming more commonplace, connected wirelessly. The SKF Wireless Machine Condition Sensor, for example, which is an ATEX rated device, combines vibration and temperature sensors, a data logger and a radio into single compact unit that can be quickly and easily installed onto many types of rotating equipment. The sensor collects and transmits data on overall vibration levels and transient accelerations that can indicate problems with bearings and other common faults. The device uses the WirelessHART communication protocol, offering a simple, reliable and secure means of expanding condition based maintenance where it is difficult to install wired communication links. To overcome wireless communication obstacles, sensors can be configured to operate as router nodes, allowing them to relay data from other sensors.

Whatever type of sensors are in use, data is normally routed to a central computer system running an advanced management and data analysis tool such as the SKF @ptitude Monitoring Suite. The latest condition monitoring tools, such as the SKF Multilog On-line System IMx-M, can be configured to provide independent machine protection and surveillance capabilities, and can even provide automated advice for correcting existing or impending conditions, which can affect machine reliability, availability and performance.

Case example:

Operators that have made the investment in advanced condition-based maintenance strategies have been able to capture significant cost savings and reliability improvements. When one oil major installed the technology across multiple items of machinery installed on its fleet of offshore service vessels, for example, it achieved a 20 percent drop in the number of machines requiring attention over a three-year period. The company estimates annual savings from the approach in the order of $1.2 million.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: May 5, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 May, 2016: The need to drill deeper for oil, with a corresponding increase in pressures and temperatures, makes working in an already harsh environment even more challenging. At the same time, the current spot-market price of oil is putting even greater emphasis on the need to control operating costs.

Meeting these seemingly opposing demands is never easy, but an innovative design of wellhead seal from SKF looks set to play an important role in helping oil companies drill deeper while keeping costs in check.

Called the Locking T-seal, the product is based on a proven design that has been developed from the fluid power sector, where it is used to prevent the piston seals in large bore cylinders becoming displaced or misaligned during installation.

SKF has now adapted and patented this design, using specially developed materials to meet the exact needs of the upstream oil sector.

The seal is especially useful in wellheads, where it is difficult to locate seals used with backup rings precisely during installation. Traditional S-seals and spring-backed seals are often hidden from view, making it impossible to determine if they have seated correctly and thus leading to subsequent damage and failure of the seal assembly. Additionally, the steel backup springs used in standard S and FS seals can break apart during installation; if this occurs it can be an expensive and potentially dangerous operation to remove the broken parts from the well-hole.

The Locking T-seals feature specially designed retention ridges that snap into place on installation, helping to prevent rotation or displacement and mechanically locking the anti-extrusion backup rings into the correct orientation. The locking action makes it quick and simple to install each seal, without the risk of damage to the seal or other system components, while providing a secure connection that minimises the risk of leakage and environmental impact.

The Locking T-seal can also be used in dynamic reciprocating motion, as well as high-pressure static connections.

Full seal range

A further development from SKF is a full range of industry approved S and FS wellhead seals.

These are designed to withstand ever-higher pressure and temperature, while meeting tougher regulatory requirements. The pressure between casing layers can be in excess of 10,000psi – meaning that the seals must be manufactured and tested to very high standards. Tubing and rough casing diameters can also vary widely, and wellhead seals must be able to compensate for these variations.

While S seals are used extensively in wellhead components, FS seals have a thicker cross section and are used for larger extrusion gaps and rougher casing and tubing surfaces. Both are capable of withstanding very high pressure.

SKF has tested its S and FS seals to API 6A-17D standards, which ensures they can handle the high pressure, temperature and chemical resistance needed for wellheads. It is the only seal company doing validation tests for wellhead conditions.

S and FS seals are an industry-standard design and are well established. A key factor in their performance is a set of new materials from SKF that can withstand the harsh conditions of the wellhead. High pressure gases can penetrate into seal materials and a combination of chemical attack and rapid gas decompression (RGD) can then cause severe damage.

The new material, called SKF Ecorubber-H85A-b-ED, is resistant to RGD and long-term ageing, and has been certified to demanding standards (NOR-SOK M710).

One potential problem with S and FS seals – which was mentioned earlier – is that they incorporate metal springs, which can separate from the elastomer at high pressures. SKF has overcome this by developing a manufacturing technology that ensures a very strong bond between the rubber and metal. The S and FS seals may look identical to any other – but SKF’s underlying technology helps them to handle more extreme conditions.

SKF is best known as a bearings company, but its manufacturing expertise and deep knowledge of the oil and gas sector underpin a range of high quality seals that offer real benefit to wellhead applications.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: May 5, 2016, 12:00 pm

Gothenburg, 2 May 2016: SKF has secured a one-yearcontract extension, worth approximately SEK 100 million, with JSCTikhvin Freight Car Building Plant, a subsidiary of Research andProduction Company United Wagon Company (RPC UWC), a Russianrailway holding company.

As part of the extended agreement, which is nowentering its third year, SKF will supply Compact Tapered RollerBearing Units (CTBU) manufactured at its factory in Tver, Russia,as well as maintenance support and remanufacturing services.

Erik Nelander, President, Industrial Sales, Europeand MEA, says: “The renewal of such a significant contract is anillustration of our ability to generate value for originalequipment manufacturers by offering solutions that contribute to anoverall improved life-cycle cost efficiency. It is exciting to seeour technologies playing such an important part of continued localdevelopment of innovative freight car solutions inRussia.”   

RPC UWC is an integrated provider of services inengineering, manufacturing, transportation, operating, leasing, andmaintenance of new generation railway freight cars. SKF’s CTBUswill be used in the production of higher capacity freight cars,enabling increased efficiency and reliable fieldperformance.  

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: May 2, 2016, 6:30 am

Gothenburg, 28 April 2016:

Alrik Danielson, President andCEO:

“Although we experienced challenges in many marketsin the first quarter, the benefits from the cost reductioninitiatives implemented during 2015 are now materializing. This isevid­enced by the Group’s operating performance in the quarter andour operating margin of 11.1%, a decline of one percentage point.The Automotive Market profit improvement programme that waslaunched during the fourth quarter of 2015 is also progressing welland contributed to an operating margin of 7.4%, an improvement oftwo percentage points.

Sales within Industrial Market were lower thanexpected, mainly related to China and North America. WithinAutomotive Market, sales to the car and truck industries in Europeand Asia were both strong, whilst sales in North America wereweak.

We have continued our activities to focus ourbusiness port­folio around our core bearing business. As a resultwe have agreed to divest our fly-by-wire and Kaydon velocitycontrol businesses for a total consideration of about SEK 3billion.

In order to simplify and further drive organic salesgrowth and improve profitability, we have adjusted our structure tofour areas; Industrial Sales Americas, Industrial Sales Europe andMEA, Industrial Sales Asia, and Automotive and Aerospace. Inaddition, we have combined the responsibility for our end-to-endprocurement, manufacturing and logistics operations into the newlyformed Bearing Operations and formed a new structure for productand business development.

Entering the second quarter 2016, we expectsequentially slightly higher demand for the Group’s products andservices, driven mainly by Asia and North America.”

Key figures, SEKmQ1 2016Q1 2015
Net sales17 72019 454
Operating profit excl. one-time items1 9722 376
Operating margin excl. one-time items, %11.112.2
One-time items in operating profit-97-655
Operating profit1 8751 721
Operating margin, %10.68.8
Profit before taxes, excl. operating and financialone-time items1 7552 167
Profit before taxes1 6581 592
Net cash flow after investments beforefinancing510988
Net sales change y-o-y, %:OrganicStructureCurrencyTotal
Q1 2016-6.1-0.8-2.0-8.9
Organic sales change in
local currencies, per region y-o-y, %:
AsiaMiddle East
& Africa
Q1 2016-1.9-11.0-3.1-9.31.0

Outlook for the second quarter2016

Demand compared to the second quarter2015
The demand for SKF’s products and services isexpected to be slightly lower for the Group. Demand for theAutomotive Market is expected to be slightly higher, demand forSpecialty Business is expected to be relatively unchanged anddemand for the Industrial Market is expected to be lower. Demand isexpected to be relatively unchanged in Europe, lower in Asia andLatin America and significantly lower in North America.

Demand compared to the first quarter2016
The demand for SKF’s products and services isexpected to be slightly higher for the Group. Demand for theIndustrial Market and Automotive Market is expected to be higher,and demand for Specialty Business is expected to be relativelyunchanged. Demand is expected to be relatively unchanged in Europeand in Latin America, higher in North America and significantlyhigher in Asia.

A teleconference will be held on 28April 2016at 09:00(CEST):

SE: +46 8 5065 3936 
UK: +44 20 3427 1912 
US: +1 646 254 3364

You will find all information regardingthe SKF First quarter report 2016 on the Group’s IRwebsite.

Aktiebolaget SKF

AB SKF is required to disclose the informationprovided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or theFinancial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submittedfor publication at 08:00 on 28 April 2016.

Posted: April 28, 2016, 6:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 26 April, 2016: SKF’s industry leading technology and design engineering support is forming part of a groundbreaking floating tidal energy project that has been awarded a €10 million (£7.75 million) European Commission (EC) grant. The Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation (FloTEC) project, led by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, has been recognised by the EC’s Horizon2020 programme for its ability to illustrate how floating tidal systems can provide low-cost, high-value energy to the European grid mix.

The project will build on Scotrenewables’ existing two-megawatt floating tidal technology, the SR2000 – the world's most powerful tidal turbine. The aim is to demonstrate how advanced, full-scale devices operate in real conditions with high levels of reliability and survivability, while developing a greater understanding of factors such as installation, operation and decommissioning costs.

Announcing the award of the Horizon2020 grant, Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the FloTEC project “has taken a significant step closer to demonstrating that extracting energy from our seas can be a commercially viable, cost competitive option for producing clean, green energy”.

Working together alongside other stakeholders, SKF will build on its solid relationship with Scotrenewables to provide sophisticated solutions, including bearings, seals, lubrication systems and condition monitoring, as well as proven design engineering support services, in the development of the Mark 2 turbine. The SR2000-M2 prototype will feature a number of innovations, including 50 percent greater energy capture through enlarged rotors with a lower rated speed, centralised MV power conversion, integrated energy storage and mooring load dampers.

Jim Marnoch, Ocean Energy Manager at SKF, said: “Having established a strong relationship with Scotrenewables during the conception of the SR2000-M1 over the last three years, we are delighted to have been selected as a strategic technical partner for the FloTEC project. We bring to the scheme our extensive knowledge in similar fields, such as wind, marine and hydro, to provide application and design engineering support for this next generation machine. We will provide solutions from SKF’s five technology platforms, with some of these forming integrated holistic systems, helping to prove the true potential of tidal energy generation.”

James Murray, Business Development Manager at Scotrenewables, added: “The ambition of FloTEC is to drive down the cost of tidal energy through the delivery of a number of targeted innovations on an enhanced variant of our SR2000 floating tidal turbine. With SKF’s innovative technologies and support, engineering is underway and includes advanced power conversion hardware, low cost manufacturing technologies, load reduction mooring components and integrated energy storage."

The SR2000-M2 prototype will be installed alongside the SR2000-M1 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal test site at the Fall of Warness in Orkney to form a 4MW floating tidal array. Here it will highlight the commercial viability of tidal stream energy as a base load supply, while optimising energy extraction for arrays in locally varying tidal resources.

There will also be a strong focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy, with considerable capital and operational cost reductions expected at every stage of the SR2000-M2’s design, build and demonstration. SKF’s technologies will play a significant role in cutting the cost of tidal energy through enhanced performance and efficiency.

On successful completion of the pilot, the two companies will then start to work together on an exciting journey towards commercialisation with small scale arrays installed initially and then large scale multi machine arrays thereafter.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 26, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 26 April 2016: SKF has signed anagreement, subject to regulatory approvals, to divest its Kaydonvelocity control business to Stabilus, a global supplier to theautomotive and industrial markets. Stabilus develops and produceselectromechanical drives, as well as gas springs and hydraulicdampers. The company has its operational headquarters in Koblenz,Germany and is listed on the SDAX index of the Frankfurt StockExchange.

The total consideration of the transaction is USD 339million, on a cash- and debt-free basis, and it is expected toclose during the summer of 2016. 

Christian Johansson, Senior Vice President and CFO,says, “This is a significant step in our efforts to focus on ourcore bearing business, a process which has been on-going for thepast 12 months. The Kaydon velocity control business is awell-managed, stand-alone operation. Under Stabilus’ ownership, ithas the ability to reach its full potential.

“Following the divestment announced today, the Kaydonbearing business will be fully integrated into the SKF operationalstructure, strengthening our value propositions in key industrialsegments. The Kaydon bearing business is one that complements ourown, from a manufacturing footprint, customer segment andtechnology perspective. The former Kaydon headquarters in AnnArbor, Michigan, will be closed.“

The Kaydon velocity control business, which includesthe ACE, Hahn Gasfedern, Fabreeka and TechProducts brands, hadsales in 2015 of approximately USD 120 million and 550 employees. 

Aktiebolaget SKF

AB SKF is required to disclose the informationprovided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or theFinancial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submittedfor publication at 08:30 on 26 April 2016.

Posted: April 26, 2016, 6:30 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 20 April 2016: SKF has launched a new version of its specialist handbook for rolling bearings in paper machines to help industry professionals maximise bearing service life. Now in its fifth edition, the technical manual has been developed to provide an invaluable wealth of information and advice for those working with paper machines, from designers and operators to maintenance staff.

This latest edition of the handbook includes up-to-date information according to advances in SKF bearing design and performance, and offers guidance on application-specific bearing selection, for everything from the forming section to the reeler, in line with the changes in bearing dynamic load ratings in recent years. Created by bearing experts and product specialists, it also contains recommendations for arrangement, mounting, maintenance and lubrication procedures to boost efficiency still further.

“Our rolling bearings in paper machines handbooks have been helping industry professionals to maximise bearing life through optimised mounting, maintenance and lubrication procedures since the first edition was published in 1964,” explained Philippe Gachet, Senior Technical Consultant at SKF. “Now in its fifth edition, it has been updated with the latest paper mill and bearing design developments in mind to continue to deliver best practice and market leading advice to the sector.”

The 270-page hardback publication features important changes from the last handbook, which was published in 2011, and contains new sections on critical matters for mill staff, such as root cause failure analysis and bearing remanufacturing. The handbook offers updated and proven advice on recommendations for bearing fits and lubricant maximum water content, while new material ensures there is information on applications not covered in previous editions of the handbook, including size presses, spreader rolls and rope sheaves, for example.

Other additions include an equation for reeler bearing load calculations and information on the SensorMount method for mounting bearings with tapered bores to ensure optimum performance when using the latest innovations in paper industry and SKF technologies. It is also more end user focused than ever before.

The rolling bearings in paper machines handbook is available in English either from SKF sales units or as a download from the online Knowledge Centre library here.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 20, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 20 April, 2016: SKF will use Posidonia 2016 to demonstrate how to boost efficiency and reliability, while cutting operating and maintenance costs in the maritime sector through its comprehensive product and service range. Visitors to the international shipping exhibition will see how the complete portfolio of innovations being showcased has been specifically developed to enhance performance and safety on all types of vessels.

At the show, SKF will launch the new SKF Marine CM Route Kit, a solution that combines cloud based data about the condition of monitored machines, with software, hardware and consulting services to extend maintenance intervals and increase fleet reliability. With the new solution, suitable for all kind of vessels, as well as offshore platforms, fleet performance evaluations are made simpler. In addition, coordination of the service and spare parts supply is possible, which can generate cost savings for the customers.

Among the other market leading technologies to feature at Posidonia will be SKF’s innovative tank skimming equipment, the Turbulo Sludge Buoy. This mechanical device provides fast and easy oil and water separation to eliminate the need for laborious manual tank drainage processes. It is quick to install and floats inside on-board tanks for constant, hassle-free and effective separation at the source to enhance environmental performance according to ISO 14001. In operation, the oil in the tank flows into the Turbulo Sludge Buoy’s lower compartment at a maximum rate of 6m³ per hour, before it is either pumped out or flows out under gravity depending on the position of the drain.

Meanwhile, SKF will demonstrate its full portfolio of bearings, couplings, lubrication systems and seals designed to maximise fleet availability. SKF will also present its extensive range of world-class marine industry services, including condition monitoring, condition-based maintenance, alignment and on-site machining solutions, at the exhibition. On show will also be the SKF BlueMon environmental monitoring system for recording and mapping ship emissions to ensure compliance with existing regulations.

SKF experts will be available on the stand to give more information and advice on the complete range developed for the maritime industry. Visitors can also discuss their own specific issues to discover the most ideal solution to optimise their application.

See SKF at Posidonia 2016: Hall 2, stand 2.409

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 20, 2016, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 19 April 2016: SKF is sparking conversation and spreading ideas with a new series of a knowledge-sharing symposium called “Let’s Talk”. Industry experts are discussing industry trends such as Digitalization, Industry Ecology and Smart Robotics in front of a live audience at leading universities.

The latest “Let’s Talk” event focuses on Industrial Ecology, a systematic approach to sustainable development and the circular economy. Speakers are John Holmberg, Professor and Vice President of Sustainable Development, Chalmers University of Technology; Christoph Schwärzler, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, Bombardier Transportation; Lindsay Berg, Industrial Ecology Masters Student, Chalmers University of Technology and Filip Rosengren, Railway Segment Manager, SKF.

“When we look at the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, they are all important and we need to contribute to all of them, but I see three major areas which I would like to highlight”, says Filip Rosengren, SKF. “First, within industrialization and innovation, offering our customers products that can reduce energy consumption like our BeyondZero portfolio. Second, within our own energy consumption and how we reduce overall CO2 emissions in our operations and finally, with global partnerships, to join forces and challenge old business models.”

The recorded symposiums are available on SKF’s YouTube channel. Further information can also be found on our website: or by following the hashtag #LetsTalkIndustrialEcology across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

More “Let’s Talk” videos will be published in the upcoming months.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 19, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 14 April 2016: The SKF Group will publishits results for the first quarter on 28 April 2016 and welcomesinvestors, analysts and members of the media to take part in aconference call, which will be held in English, at 09:00 (CET),08:00 (UK time).

To join the conference call, please dial-in using thefollowing details at least 10 minutes before the start of thecall:

SE: +46 8 5065 3936
UK: +44 20 3427 1912
US: +1 646 254 3364

Please inform the operator that you wish to take partin the SKF conference call.  

The SKF Group's results for the first quarter 2016will be published around 08:00 (CET). All information regarding theresults will be made available on the Group’s website:

Media: To book interviews with AlrikDanielson and Christian Johansson after the conference call, pleasecontact Theo Kjellberg on / +46 725 7765 76.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: April 14, 2016, 6:30 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF has secured a contract with the Las Bambas mine in Peru to provide lubrication management services for all electric motors in the mine’s concentrator plant. Engineered specifically for Las Bambas, the lubrication solutions will contribute to increased equipment reliability and cost effectiveness.

The two-year agreement with Las Bambas includes engineering, planning and scheduling, execution and management of all lubrication-related activities for the electric motors. In addition, SKF will supply lubrication system components and tools to the mine.

“As part of its reliability programme, Las Bambas needed a world-class lubrication system for its electric motors,” said Service & Upselling Manager Carlos Lahura of SKF Peru. “Mine personnel contacted SKF to develop a series of integrated lubrication solutions for their rotating machinery and were impressed by our expertise and commitment. As a result, SKF was engaged to provide lubrication management services as well.”

The ultimate SKF Three-Barrier Solution, consisting of sealed SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings, housings and SKF Taconite Seals, also has been deployed for the mine’s overland conveyor belts, with shafts measuring between 500mm and 700mm. The bearings and housings provided will have integrated sensor positions for condition monitoring that offer the improved contamination protection needed in severe weather conditions.

Forecast to produce approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper once fully operational in 2017, Las Bambas will be the third largest copper mine in the world.

See SKF at bauma: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 12, 2016, 12:03 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF is demonstrating a comprehensive range of its leading solutions at bauma 2016 which improve the reliability and reduce the operating costs of conveyor systems in the mining, mineral processing and construction industries.

Conveyors in mines, quarries and cement plants perform a tough job in harsh conditions. Mineral extraction and processing creates large amounts of highly abrasive dust that can enter into machinery, mix with the lubricant inside, and cause accelerated wear and eventual failure of bearings, seals, gears, couplings and other rotating parts. Conveyors operate at fairly low speed and under high loads and sometimes at high temperatures placing high demands on the bearings, seals and lubrication. Their remote location can also make maintenance and health monitoring difficult. Together, contamination and lubrication failures account for more than half of all bearing failures in mining applications.

SKF offerings for belt conveyors cover the full asset life cycle, and include bearings, housings, seals, lubrication systems, maintenance solutions and reliability engineering. For example, visitors to bauma can see several SKF design solutions for conveyors, including the SKF Three-barrier solution, housings, sealed SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings, and the new SKF Taconite seal.

The SKF Three-barrier solution is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution that is proven to extend service life of the conveyor pulleys. When installed, the solution provides the conveyor bearing with three layers of protection against contamination and greatly reduces the amount of lubrication required by up to 90%. This reduces maintenance costs. SKF housings feature high-grade cast material and optionally ductile iron material, large ribs in the base and extra material around attachment holes to resist shock loads and minimise distortion of the base and bearing seat at high loads. The sealed SKF Explorer spherical roller bearing uses upgraded steel developed with a new, patented heat treatment process and is factory lubricated and fitted with integrated seals to protect the bearing. The result improves wear-resistance and sealing, offering more than three times the service life under poor lubrication and contaminated conditions.

For extreme contaminated conditions, the SKF Three-barrier solution is combined with the new SKF Taconite seal to block contamination entering the housing including high pressure water during maintenance. We refer to this as the “ultimate SKF Three-barrier solution”.

Maintenance and operations-focused visitors will also be interested in the SKF Idler Sound Monitor kit, part of the company’s growing range of sophisticated and easy-to-use machinery health monitoring systems. This hand-held condition monitoring tool  detects early signs of idler roller failure, helps avoid belt damage and enables more cost-effective maintenance planning.

“The conveyor products on display at bauma are just a small sample of our wide variety of solutions and services for the mining belt conveyor,” says Keith Meyers, SKF’s Global Industry Manager Mining, Mineral Processing and Cement. “Our aim is to help our customers build reliability into their products from the outset, and support their operations and maintenance activities in a way that minimises downtime and cuts total cost of ownership.”

See SKF at bauma 2016: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 12, 2016, 12:02 pm

Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF today announced the introduction of its Lincoln HTL 201 EEX hydraulically driven pump for use in volatile applications, such as underground mining. Featuring a steel pump body and lubricant reservoir, this unit is a cost-effective alternative to expensive electrically driven pumps that must include a cabinet for protection.

Designed to minimize friction and wear, the HTL 201 EEX is operated via the hydraulic system of a superior machine or carrier system and supplies lubricant as long as that machine or carrier device is active. The HTL 201 EEX is based on the proven Lincoln HTL 201 hydraulic tool lubricator concept and includes a grounding point to discharge electricity immediately, if needed.

Compact and durable, the HTL 201 EEX is easy to install and maintain. Its refillable reservoir holds 1.5 liters (52.9 fl.oz) of NLGI grade 2 grease. The pump unit has an integrated throttle to adjust the lubricant output, and it accepts progressive metering devices.

See SKF at bauma: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: April 12, 2016, 12:01 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF has introduced its new Lincoln SL-32HV high-vent injectors for applications requiring faster venting. In addition, these injectors provide improved functionality in cold temperatures and enable the use of heavier greases.

Designed for indoor or outdoor applications, the SL-32HV high-vent injectors can lower system installation costs, because less-expensive, smaller-diameter supply lines can be utilized. Compatible with all existing Lincoln Centro-Matic grease injectors, the SL-32HV injectors also can be used to upgrade an entire lubrication system.

The new injectors have a high venting capability of 400 psi (28 bar) and can pump viscosities up to and including NLGI 2 greases. Multiple manifold configurations are available ranging from one to 10 injectors per manifold, and individual injectors can be removed easily for inspection or replacement.

Developed for use in a wide range of industries, these injectors are suitable for food and beverage, industrial automation, machine tool, oil and gas, steel, pulp and paper, marine and forestry applications, as well as construction, wind energy, mobile on-road, metal removal equipment and more.

See SKF at bauma: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 12, 2016, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF today announced the introduction of the LMC 301 controller for lubrication applications where sophisticated control and feedback are required. Designed for use with pumps that have no internal controller, the LMC 301 is suitable for mobile, off-road, mining, construction and large process industries.

Compatible with single-line, dual-line and progressive lubrication systems, the LMC 301 can operate three different pumps, and each of those pumps can control up to three zones. Because one unit manages up to nine separate zones, fewer controllers are needed, which reduces system investment. Also, each pump can function as a different system type.  

The versatile LMC 301 is an efficient solution for systems that have lubrication points requiring different lubrication intervals or varying types of grease. This controller can handle multiple greases and diverse temperature ranges, and is ideal for critical bearings where it is essential to know that they have been lubricated properly.

See SKF at bauma: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 12, 2016, 11:59 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 April 2016: SKF has launched a new capabilities catalogue to highlight its comprehensive range of solutions for optimising and maximising machinery service life in the mining, mineral processing and cement industries. The publication brings together a wealth of expertise and knowledge to form a single reference source of information about the vast and varied range of SKF products and services for applications across the sectors.

Created by industry experts, the new 88-page catalogue includes the latest information on SKF’s experience in the mining, mineral processing and cement industries and explores the options available for enhancing the efficiency of rotating machinery. For example, end-users, original equipment manufacturers and consultants alike can discover the many bearing and sealing products available to help increase production and reduce energy consumption. Many of these, such as the SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings, will be on display at the bauma 2016 trade fair.

In addition, the publication provides guidance on how SKF solutions can optimise machine life cycles through effective lubrication, maintenance and condition monitoring services to cut the total cost of ownership and improve worker safety in the sectors. The SKF asset management offerings are proven to help firms reduce downtime and maintenance cost to increase overall profitability, while safeguarding the environment.

The SKF solutions for the mining, mineral processing and cement industries publication is particularly easy to navigate and makes product identification simple. It includes a feature, on pages six to 33, that examines 12 industry applications and highlights some specific solutions for each, as well as a chapter, on pages 34 to 37, dedicated to overcoming common challenges, such as contamination, high maintenance costs and lost productivity, with a remedy for every issue. Meanwhile, there is a cross-reference chart, on pages eight and nine, which allows the reader to find the most ideal SKF solution for each type of machinery and the latter half of the catalogue, from page 40 onwards, features each solution organised by type for quick reference.

“The launch of this brand new catalogue demonstrates that SKF has a very broad offering for the industry,” says Thibaut Leconte, SKF’s Global Applications Engineering Specialist for Mining. “We can now show in a single reference source that we provide a comprehensive and diverse range of proven solutions that help mining, mineral processing and cement industry professionals to get the very best from vital machinery, while lowering the total cost of ownership and boosting operational performance.”

The new mining, mineral processing and cement industries catalogue is available in English, either from SKF sales centres or as a download from the online Knowledge Centre library here.

See SKF at bauma: Outdoors at booth FM.709/4.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: April 12, 2016, 11:58 am

Gothenburg, 31 March 2016: TheAnnual General Meeting of Aktiebolaget SKF, parent company of theSKF Group, was held in Gothenburg on Thursday, 31 March 2016, underthe chairmanship of Mr Leif Östling.

The income statements and the balance sheets were adopted, togetherwith the Board’s proposal for distribution of dividend. A dividendof SEK 5.50 per share was approved. To be entitled to receive thedividend, shareholders must be recorded in the share register on 4April 2016.

The Meeting resolved that the Board’s fee for 2016 is to be inaccordance with the following:

a) a firm allotment of SEK 7,294,000 to be distributed with SEK1,950,000 to the Chairman of the Board, and with SEK 668,000 toeach other Board member elected by the General Meeting and notemployed by the company; and

b) an allotment for committee work of SEK 883,000 to be distributedwith SEK 226,000 to the chairman of the Audit Committee, with SEK161,000 to each of the other members of the Audit Committee, withSEK 129,000 to the chairman of the Remuneration Committee and withSEK 103,000 to each of the other members of the RemunerationCommittee.

A prerequisite for obtaining an allotment is that the Board memberis elected by the General Meeting and is not employed by thecompany.

The following Board members were re-elected: Mr Leif Östling, MsLena Treschow Torell, Mr Peter Grafoner, Mr Lars Wedenborn, Mr JoeLoughrey, Mr Baba Kalyani, Mr Hock Goh, Ms Marie Bredberg, Ms NancyGougarty and Mr Alrik Danielson.

Mr Leif Östling was elected Chairman of the Board.

The Meeting approved the Board’s proposal regarding principles ofremuneration for Group Management and the Board’s proposal for aresolution on SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2016. The programmecovers not more than 225 senior managers and key employees in theSKF Group with an opportunity to be allotted, free of charge, SKF Bshares. Under the programme, not more than 1,000,000 shares,corresponding to around 0.2% of the total number of outstandingshares, may be allotted. The number of shares that may be allottedmust be related to the average TVA development during 2016-2018compared to the actual TVA in 2015.

The Meeting approved the proposal presented regarding theNomination Committee.

Aktiebolaget SKF(publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-3376576; +46 725-776 576;
Investor Relations: Patrik Stenberg, +4631-337 2104; +46 705-472 104;

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings,seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services whichinclude technical support, maintenance and reliability services,engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in morethan 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locationsworldwide. Annual sales in 2015 were SEK 75 997 million and thenumber of employees was 46 635.

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 31, 2016, 3:30 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 30 March 2016: Around nine metres wide, six metres deep and 22 metres long, the pit that had to be filled for the base of the future SKF test rig was the size of two detached houses. It had to be filled quickly to ensure the concrete could set correctly.

Over the course of 19 hours, 150 mixer trucks brought in their load and discharged it in the pit, practically one vehicle every six minutes; so almost as if on a conveyor belt. "Obviously this was a logistical challenge," says Armin Schaab of SKF’s Construction and Factory Planning team, "but quite clearly our detailed advance planning paid dividends. In addition, the entire team put in a magnificent effort on site, with everything running like clockwork and no incidents of note. This meant we were able to cast the 1 200 cubic metres as planned."

The base is such a huge block because of the enormous forces likely to be unleashed by the test rig that will be anchored to it. The colossus among test rigs is intended in particular for the testing of gigantic rolling bearings for wind power. "It will be the first test rig in the world capable of testing not just a single main bearing but a complete bearing unit all at once," says SKF's Senior Vice President, Technology Development Bernd Stephan, hinting at the dimensions of this unique installation. "The bearings themselves can have an external diameter of anything up to six metres, being intended for turbines in the 10 megawatt class. The test rig can subject structures of that kind to dynamic forces in all directions that, when combined, are many times greater than on the strongest test installation currently available."

Quite apart from that, the future test rig will also allow rotational speeds on testing that will be considerably higher than currently available. Using these exceptional capabilities, SKF wants to simulate extreme dynamic loads of the order of several meganewtons or meganewton metres in as realistic a manner as possible. In view of power capacity of this order, the engineers from RENK Test System GmbH, the firm entrusted with the development, even had to come up with a special fixing method that would direct the forces exerted on the station in a controlled manner along the correct paths.

"We are making these efforts because the existing computational simulation models simply aren’t capable of making truly realistic prognoses," says Dr Martin Göbel, Manager of the test centre project at SKF in Schweinfurt. "Our two new test rigs will provide a remedy in this respect and give us insights into processes that were previously inaccessible. The relevant findings will make the new test centre a pioneering instrument in helping many customers from a wide variety of industries gain access to an energy-efficient future in a way that is tailored to the application in question."

"In the final analysis, the 360 MSEK investment in the new test centre will help us customise large size bearings to their subsequent uses much more precisely and efficiently than has previously been possible," says Manfred E. Neubert, President of SKF GmbH. "This means that our customers benefit from significantly higher levels of robustness and reliability in the new generation of large size bearings." For SKF itself, the new test centre is like one of those final pieces in a puzzle soon to be completed, adding to the expertise in large size bearings already available on the Schweinfurt site.

Follow the construction of the world's most powerful large size bearing test centre: Two webcams are recording hourly progress from two different perspectives.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: March 30, 2016, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 30 March 2016: SKF today announces theopening of a newly-built sealing solutions factory in Zapopan,Mexico. The new facility is located near the Group’s existingsealing solutions factory in Guadalajara, allowing for continuedexpansion of production, predominantly for automotive originalequipment manufacturers in North America.

Stéphane Le Mounier, President, Automotive andAerospace, says: “Our expansion in Mexico enables us to continue todevelop our seals business across North America. Combining modernmanufacturing technologies with our existing logisticsinfrastructure in the region will both contribute to improvedproduction efficiency and service levels for ourcustomers.” 

The investment in Zapopan is part of the Group’songoing efforts to better utilise its manufacturing assets.Production at the new factory will be ramping up during the comingsix months. Concurrently, production will be transferred from theGroup’s factory in Hobart, Oklahoma, which is in the process ofbeing closed.

In-line with the Group’s ambitions to reduce theenvironmental impact of its operations, the new factory will beLEED certified.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: March 30, 2016, 7:00 am

Gothenburg, 18 March 2016: SKF has signed anagreement that extends its long-term collaboration with Valmet. SKFwill supply bearings, units and lubrication systems to Valmet, theglobal supplier of technologies, automation and services for thepulp, paper and energy industries.

Erik Nelander, President, Industrial Sales, Europeand MEA, says: “We have been working with Valmet for over 60 years.Our commitment to adopting a design-to-cost approach in our productdevelopment also supports Valmet in maximising the efficiency oftheir own investments in technology development. Our manufacturingand R&D presence across Finland, Sweden and China provides thelocal knowledge and short lead-times that Valmet requires.  Bycombining our expertise around the rotating shaft, end-users areable to maximise usage of their machinery.”

SKF’s tailored bearing and units solutions have beendeveloped with a focus on reducing design and manufacturing costsfor Valmet and decreasing operating costs for machine owners andoperators.

SKF’s patented Flowline circulating oil systemsprovide accurate lubrication, whilst at the same time reducing theamount of circulating oil needed, reducing costs and environmentalimpact.   

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: March 18, 2016, 7:30 am

Gothenburg, 17 March 2016: SKF has signed anagreement to divest its fly-by-wire business to LORD Corporation, adiversified technology and manufacturing company with a longtrack-record serving the aerospace industry, based in Cary, NorthCarolina, USA. LORD Corporation has approximately 3,000 employeesand operates 17 manufacturing facilities and nine R&D centresworldwide.   

The total consideration of the divestment is EUR 39million, on a cash- and debt-free basis. The transaction isexpected to close during the coming three to four months. 

Christian Johansson, Senior Vice President and CFO,says, “This divestment is a continuation of our efforts to focus onour core business – bearings and solutions around the rotatingshaft – whilst at the same time strengthening our balance sheet. Weare happy to see LORD Corporation as the future owner of thisbusiness, as we believe they have the ambitions and know-how neededto continue its successful development.”

Located in Saint-Vallier, France, the divestedbusiness develops and manufactures predominantly fly-by-wirecockpit control systems, sensors, dampers and electromechanicalactuators. With approximately 150 employees and annual sales of EUR37 million in 2015, it has been operating as part of the Group’saerospace business. 

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: March 17, 2016, 7:30 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 16 March 2016: SKF has developed SKF Enlight mobile and cloud based data collection, analysis and support system to suit the needs of the global wind energy industry. The new solution is designed to improve inspection efficiency and reduce costs for frontline maintenance teams, and to provide operators with rich, real time data on turbine performance and reliability.

SKF Enlight combines the intuitive ease-of-use of an iOS or Android app, running on a standard mobile device, with the power to access customised workflows for specific tasks, and the ability to collect data from a wide range of sources and sensors. Behind the scenes, the DataCollect app connects wirelessly to the SKF cloud. All inspection data is uploaded and securely stored for review and analysis.

Wind energy companies can take their paper-based maintenance processes online with SKF Enlight, creating data collection forms that guide staff step-by-step through standard inspection activities, aided by images and online manuals. The fully customisable forms can be set up to suit operator standard operating procedures, including items such as mandatory safety checks to protect personnel.

In use, the system is able to connect directly to a wide variety of sensors, allowing photographs and video to be collected and uploaded together with data on temperature, humidity, vibration and a host of other operating parameters. SKF Enlight’s smart forms also adapt based on the data collected, allowing different inspection protocols depending on turbine operating hours, for example, or immediately suggesting corrective actions when out-of-tolerance readings are found.

“The user-friendly SKF Enlight system allows our wind energy customers to engage more of their staff in inspection and maintenance activities,” says Hannes Leopoldseder, SKF Global Sales Manager Wind Operations and Maintenance. “The system is easily scalable as companies expand their infrastructure, and safely storing inspection data in the cloud in a secure, standardised way has significant advantages for companies looking for a high level, real time view of equipment performance.”

To aid the diagnosis and correction of more challenging issues, users can also connect  SKF Enlight directly to online support services, such as those offered by SKF Remote Diagnostic Services, giving them immediate access to expert personnel supported by more than 100 years of SKF engineering knowledge.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: March 16, 2016, 9:00 am

Gothenburg, 9 March 2016: SKF has been informed ofthe initiation of a lawsuit, with a claim for damages, by PeugeotS.A., and several group companies, (PSA) against bearingmanufacturers, including AB SKF, that were part of the settlementdecision by the European Commission for violation of Europeancompetition rules.

PSA has filed the lawsuit with the Competition AppealTribunal in the United Kingdom. SKF has not, at this stage,received definitive information about the size of damages claimednor the timetable of the process initiated in the Tribunal.

The amount of damages, if any, should SKF be foundliable, is at this stage not possible to determine.

The decision by the European Commission in March 2014covered violations of European competition rules with respect tosales of bearings to the automotive manufacturing industry inEurope. SKF was one of six bearing manufacturers involved in theinvestigation.

The settlement decision made no finding that SKF’stop management had involvement in, or knowledge of, the conduct atissue. Furthermore, SKF strongly believes that the activitiessanctioned by the European Commission have not caused any damage toits business partners.

Aktiebolaget SKF

AB SKF is required to disclose the informationprovided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or theFinancial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submittedfor publication at 17:45 on 9 March 2016.

Posted: March 9, 2016, 4:45 pm

Gothenburg, 8 March 2016: The SKF Annual Report 2015 is now available.

The report provides an integrated format for the financial, environmental and social performance of the SKF Group. A printed version will be available from 18 March 2016. Please see below to download a pdf file.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: March 8, 2016, 12:42 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 8 March 2016: SKF will be attending the Offshore Technology Conference 2016 with a range of innovative solutions designed to boost reliability and efficiency in the oil and gas sector. The products and applications on display at the event have been customised specifically to meet the needs of OEMs and operators looking for products with higher performance and a reduced total cost of ownership.

To improve the reliability and extend the service life of top-drives, SKF will be showing its optimised tapered roller thrust bearing. Designed with extreme offshore operating conditions in mind, these bearings can accommodate high axial and shock loads and shaft deflections. SKF’s extremely pure high-alloy steels, optimised geometry and precise manufacturing tolerances allow the bearings to operate with lower friction and less vibration, while extending service life and increasing its load carrying capacity. Using proprietary simulation tools, SKF engineers can also offer customised versions of the tapered roller thrust bearing, designed to suit the needs of specific customer applications with non-standard dimensions, coatings and surface treatments, and the addition of features to facilitate assembly and maintenance.

Kaydon slewing ring bearings are used in top drives as well as a wide range of other offshore applications, from cranes to riser connections. SKF will be showing the MTE-324T slewing ring bearing, which features a 4-point contact design to accommodate radial, axial and moment loads and integral seals to resist contamination and extend service life.

Visitors to the event can see SKF’s new Sensor bearing unit, a total system solution for operators looking to reduce downtime by improving the monitoring and control of electric motors operating under severe conditions. The unit incorporates ruggedised speed sensor technology into a simple unitised assembly for easy field retrofit in top drives or drawworks applications. Containing a hybrid deep groove ball or cylindrical roller bearing, a magnetic impulse ring and a sensor embedded in the end cover, the unit has integral seals and is lubricated for life. The option of a built in back-up sensor further increases reliability in even the harshest oil & gas environments

Visitors will also have the opportunity to talk to SKF experts about customised sealing solutions for well control and valve applications. SKF’s custom seal offering includes a range of proprietary designs and materials. SKF patented locking T-seals, for example, use a backup ring that mechanically locks in place to enable easier, damage-free installation, the ability to handle higher pressures and temperatures and reduced damage to metal components. SKF helps its oil and gas customers to obtain the highest performance sealing solutions through its extensive application engineering capabilities and in-house testing facilities, which can validate designs at the extremely high pressures and temperatures required for offshore applications.

Furthermore, on display will be SKF’s Multilog On-line System IMx-M, a sophisticated solution for monitoring the condition of critical offshore machinery. Together with SKF @ptitude Monitoring Suite software, the SKF Multilog IMx-M enables end users to protect and enhance the reliability of assets and prevent machine downtime, by providing a complete system for initiation of machinery shutdown, early fault detection, and diagnosis.

The Offshore Technology Conference 2016 is the oil and gas industry’s largest equipment exhibition. It takes place at the NRG Park trade show and convention complex in Houston, Texas, on 2-5 May 2016. Visitors to the event will find SKF at Booth 2601.

Aktiebolaget SKF
Posted: March 7, 2016, 9:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 7 March, 2016: SKF has launched a new mechanical device for the fast and easy separation of oil and water in tanks in marine and offshore applications.

Sludge oil is a term commonly used to describe the waste oil mainly derived from the process of purifying fuel oils and lubricating oils in order to ensure proper operation of ship’s machinery. During the process, the separated water from the purifying process mixes with the waste oil in the sludge tank.

The SKF Turbulo Sludge Buoy has been developed to eliminate the need for laborious and time consuming manual drainage processes as it floats inside on-board tanks for constant, hassle-free and effective separation.

In operation, the oil in the tank flows into the Turbulo Sludge Buoy’s lower compartment at a maximum rate of 6m³ per hour. It is then either pumped out or flows out under gravity depending upon whether the drain is below or above the surface of the water. This separation at the source enhances environmental performance according to ISO 14001.

The resulting water left in the tank is much cleaner and easier to process in the bilge water separator, boosting its efficiency and reducing costs. Meanwhile, the free water content of the separated oil is quite low, typically less than five per cent. Consequently, it requires no further treatment and can be disposed of either in an on-board incineration plant or ashore.

The product is reliable as well as quick and easy to install by the ship crew aboard all types of vessels inside existing tanks when they are opened for routine inspection or cleaning. Furthermore, the Turbulo Sludge Buoy is essentially a ‘fit and forget’ solution, requiring almost no maintenance and because it is entirely mechanical it does not require electricity for its operation. The solution is a one-time investment as it eliminates the need for consumables or spare parts for the lifetime of the system and the payback time is particularly short, normally less than a year.

The system can be used at higher temperatures of up to 90°C and it is available in two sizes – the Turbulo Sludge Buoy and the Turbulo Sludge Buoy Mini – which can be specified depending on the available space in the tank.

Aktiebolaget SKF

Posted: March 7, 2016, 9:00 am