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Gothenburg, 17 April 2015: SKF isinvesting SEK 190 million in modernizing its spherical rollerbearing production channels in Gothenburg. The investment is partof the Group’s focus on the development of world classmanufacturing processes.

More modern manufacturing processes,including intelligent grinding, which enables reduced set-up timesand improved production efficiency, will be combined with SKF’s owncondition monitoring and mobile connectivity solutions. With accessto real-time and remote monitoring, operators will be empowered tobetter predict and plan machine maintenance schedules, as well asdevelop long-term statistical evaluations of diagnosticdata.

Luc Graux, Manufacturing Director,Industrial Market, says, “Combining new manufacturing processeswith our condition monitoring and connectivity solutions reallybrings us into the modern era. It will also help make ourproduction more flexible and efficient, as we roll-out the SKFProduction System in Gothenburg.”

Speaking about the Group’s focus onsustainability, he says, “This investment supports our continuedfocus on energy efficiency. Since 2006, we have reduced our energyusage by 300 GWh (16%), despite significant increases in productionoutput.”

The investments announced today areexpected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Aktiebolaget SKF
(publ)

For further information, pleasecontact:
Media Hotline:
+46 31 337 2400
Press Relations:
Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576;+46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations:
Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com

  
SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics,lubrication systems, and services which include technical support,maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting andtraining. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and hasaround 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark ofthe SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKFGroup

Posted: April 17, 2015, 6:39 am

Alrik Danielson, President and CEO:
”Demand was in line with our expectations, with reported sales growth in local currencies of 1,4%. All three business areas showed an increase in sales in local currencies. Geographically, Asia continued to show a good growth followed by Europe and Latin America which were relatively unchanged while in North America the business slowed somewhat due to lower activity in some of our key industries. Cash flow from operations was strong, even though we built some working capital in the quarter due to seasonality.
There has been a high focus on implementing the already announced restructuring
programme and I am pleased to see the good progress so far, around 40%.
The high focus on innovations is continuing throughout the organization and we have launched several new innovations to help our customers improve their productivity and reduce energy usage. For example, we introduced a new generalized bearing life concept enabling customers to much better account for real-life conditions when calculating SKF bearing life in their machines.
Looking forward, there is continued uncertainty from a macro perspective. Sequentially and year on year we expect the demand to be relatively unchanged for the Group.
I am also pleased to welcome a new Senior Vice President and CFO for the Group, Christian Johansson.’’


Key figures
Q1 2015Q1 2014
Net sales, SEKm19 45416 734
Operating profit, SEKm1 7212 024
Operating margin, %8.812.1
One-time items (- costs, + income)-655117
Operating profit excluding one-time items, SEKm2 3761 907
Operating margin excl. one-time items %12.211.4
Profit before taxes, SEKm1 5921 787
Net profit, SEKm1 1651 275
Basic earnings per share, SEK2.462.72

One-time items in Q1 2015 include SEK -535 million for the ongoing cost-reduction programme, and the remainder relates to write-offs of assets.

31 March 201531 December 201431 March 2014
Net working capital, % of annual sales32.130.632.8
ROCE for the 12-month period, %12.613.98.4
Net debt/equity, %122.2126.6117.6
Net debt/EBITDA, %3.23.04.2


Net sales change y-o-y, %:OrganicStructureCurrencyTotal
Q1 20151.4014.916.3


Organic sales change in local currencies, per region y-o-y, %:EuropeNorthAmericaLatin AmericaAsiaMiddle East & Africa
Q1 20151.0-2.40.45.614.2

Outlook for the second quarter of 2015

Demand compared to the second quarter 2014
The demand for SKF’s products and services is expected to be relatively unchanged for the Group and for Europe. For Asia it is expected to be higher and for North and Latin America slightly lower. Per business area, for both Industrial Market and Automotive Market it is expected to be relatively unchanged, and for Specialty Business to be slightly higher.

Demand compared to the first quarter 2015
The demand for SKF’s products and services is expected to be relatively unchanged for the Group, Europe and North America. For Asia it is expected to be higher and for Latin America slightly lower. Per business area, for both Industrial Market and Automotive Market it is expected to be relatively unchanged, and for Specialty Business to be slightly higher.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing is expected to be relatively unchanged year over year and compared to the first quarter.

Gothenburg, 17 April 2015

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

A teleconference will be held on 17 April at 09.00 (CET), 08.00 (UK):
SE: +46 8 5033 6538
UK: +44 20 3427 1902
US: +1 212 444 0895

You will find all information regarding SKF First-quarter results 2015 on the IR website.investors.skf.com/quarterlyreporting

AB SKF is required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at around 08.00 on 17 April 2015.


For further information, please contact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576; +46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

Posted: April 17, 2015, 6:00 am

Gothenburg, 16 April 2015: SKF isinvesting in the construction of a large-size bearing (LSB) testcentre in Schweinfurt, Germany. The investment, which totals SEK360 million, is being supported by both the German Government andState of Bavaria, who are contributing SEK 28 million infunding.

The test centre will have two LSBtest rigs; one for testing bearings used in wind turbine mainshafts and one for applications across a wider scope of industries,including marine, mining, construction and steel. The former willbe able to test bearings with an outer ring diameter of up to sixmetres, with extreme bending moments and dynamic loadingconditions.

The bearing test rig dedicated tothe wind energy segment will be the first in the world capable oftesting single rotor bearings as well as mainshaft bearingarrangements in a realistic application environment. Utilizingoriginal customer components, engineers will be able to bettertailor SKF’s bearings to customer’s exact needs.

The other test rig offers uniquecapabilities to improve simulation tools that support large-sizebearing development and tailoring solutions for a variety ofindustries.

Bernd Stephan, Senior VicePresident, Group Technology Development, says, “This investmentreinforces our focus on generating value for customers throughapplication-specific solutions that improve bearing performance andefficiency. We are very pleased and grateful for the supportprovided by the German and Bavarian State Governments in thisproject.”

“This new facility willsignificantly cut the length of time the testing process takes,reducing associated energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Recyclingresidual heat from both test rigs will also contribute to lowerenergy usage.”

Construction of the bearing testcentre will commence during the summer of 2015 and is expected tobe completed during the first half of 2017.

Aktiebolaget SKF
(publ)

For further information, pleasecontact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576;+46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplierof bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and serviceswhich include technical support, maintenance and reliabilityservices, engineering consulting and training. SKF is representedin more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributorlocations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 millionand the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKFGroup.


Posted: April 16, 2015, 6:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 15 April 2015:  SKF today announced the introduction of the TKSA 41 shaft alignment tool with enhanced measuring and reporting capabilities. Developed for use in industrial applications utilizing rotating machines, the instrument helps customers identify and correct shaft misalignment to improve equipment uptime and lower maintenance costs. The TKSA 41 has been designed to make shaft alignment easy, even for operators with minimal experience.

Comprised of two wireless measuring units, large detectors and bright lasers, the TKSA 41 provides precise measurements, even in challenging conditions or difficult-to-access applications. Its liquid crystal display (LCD) with touchscreen navigation makes alignment fast and simple, and its free measurement feature allows alignment measurements to start at any angle and finish with a total angular sweep of only 90 degrees. The TKSA 41’s live view supports intuitive measurements and facilitates horizontal and vertical alignment corrections.

Because the instrument enables hands-free measurement by detecting when the heads are in the correct position, operators can use both hands to rotate and hold the shafts in place. After each alignment, the TKSA 41 automatically generates a customized report with notes and pictures available from its built-in camera. This camera also enables QR codes to be scanned for machine identification and access to the machine library to review past alignment reports or to start a new alignment process. The TKSA 41 replaces its predecessor, the widely used TKSA 40.

Aktiebolaget SKF
    (publ)

For further information, please contact:
SKF Group Communication: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97;nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 7:00 am

Gothenburg, 14 April 2015: ChristianJohansson has been appointed Senior Vice President and CFO of ABSKF.

Christian Johansson is currently CFOof Gunnebo AB and will start his new position no later than October2015. Born in 1963, Christian holds a Bachelor of Science inBusiness Administration from Stockholm University. His previousroles include senior positions within Alfa Laval, ABB andVolvo.

Alrik Danielson, Chief ExecutiveOfficer, says, “Christian has a solid financial background,extensive international experience and wide industrial knowledge.He will be a strong addition to our Group Management."

Aktiebolaget SKF
         (publ)

For furtherinformation, please contact:
Media Hotline:
+46 31 337 2400
Press Relations:
Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576;+46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations:
Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181994; marita.bjork@skf.com

   


SKF is a leadingglobal supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubricationsystems, and services which include technical support, maintenanceand reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKFis represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

® SKF is a registered trademark ofthe SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKFGroup

Posted: April 14, 2015, 12:00 pm
SKF Powers the Future at Hannover

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF will be presenting a selection of its leading products and innovations as well as an innovative technical discovery at Hannover Messe 2015.

SKF has been developing advanced solutions to customers operating across industry since 1907. The company utilises its vast experience and industry insight to continuously produce new technologies, which deliver competitive advantages to customers, such as improved productivity and sustainability.

This experience and expertise has established SKF as an industry leader in product design and development. We attribute this to a forward thinking culture and a commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that meet the needs of customers, including bearings and units, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems. We call this SKF Knowledge Engineering and it is this approach that will power the future of industry.

Press releases for SKF product launches at Hannover 2015

SKF outlines how to Power the Future at Hannover

SKF launches innovative new bearing rating life model

SKF optimizes products as part of new field performance programme

SKF Insight intelligent bearing technology trialed in railway and wind energy sectors

SKF Insight reduces railway maintenance costs

SKF boosts reliability and efficiency of O&G Top Drive Solutions

New magnetic system from SKF offers oil-free, energy-efficient solutions for centrifugal compressors in chillers

SKF launches new oil-free pure refrigerant lubricated bearings for centrifugal compressors in chillers

SKF at Hannover fair: mobile app and vibration sensor allow collection of expert data by non-experts

SKF at Hannover fair: intrinsically safe tablets and smartphones take mobility into hazardous areas

SKF pioneers cloud-based solution for data collecting

SKF makes shaft alignment quick, versatile and intuitive

SKF to show latest turbo-machinery solutions at Hannover Fair

Sliding Door Damper moves heavy doors and windows smoothly into their final position
 
New SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System cuts haulage costs and increases safety

SKF ePowertrain portfolio reduces costs for hybrid and electric vehicles
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:16 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF will be presenting a selection of its leading products and innovations as well as an innovative technical discovery at Hannover Messe 2015.

SKF has been developing advanced solutions to customers operating across industry since 1907. The company utilises its vast experience and industry insight to continuously produce new technologies, which deliver competitive advantages to customers, such as improved productivity and sustainability.

This experience and expertise has established SKF as an industry leader in product design and development. We attribute this to a forward thinking culture and a commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that meet the needs of customers, including bearings and units, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems. We call this SKF Knowledge Engineering and it is this approach that will power the future of industry.

SKF launches innovative new bearing rating life model
SKF has launched the SKF Generalized Bearing Life Model, a pioneering new bearing rating life model that is specifically designed to help engineers predict bearing life with greater levels of accuracy than ever before. The new model is a major step forward for the industry, and will play a vital role in enabling OEMs and end users to match bearings and application conditions with even greater certainty, resulting in improved machine life and reduced operating costs.

Developed as part of the SKF EnCompass Field Performance Programme, the new bearing rating life model will enable original equipment designers and end users to more closely match bearings to actual application conditions, therefore further optimising bearing performance.

The current bearing life model is primarily calculated based on damage below the bearing’s surface. However, SKF’s experience over a number of decades has confirmed that today’s high quality bearings rarely fail because of sub-surface damage resulting from inadequate load capacity. They generally fail as a result of surface damage caused by such factors as contamination, inadequate lubrication, surface distress and wear.

Power the future with SKF’s new report
In partnership with industrial technology experts and academics from all over the world, we have released a new thought leadership report focusing on the future of manufacturing and engineering. The document, entitled ‘Power the Future’, features contributions by specialists from within SKF and leading external authorities. It focuses on current and emerging trends in engineering technology and processes, and outlines how the factory, machinery and the workforce will evolve in the near future.

‘Power the Future’ will enable engineers and students to develop a greater knowledge of the main areas of interest that are predicted to become increasingly prevalent to future technology developments in a variety of key global industrial segments.

The Power the Future report can be downloaded for free from www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Launched at Hannover: SKF smart innovations boost mobility and connectivity
At Hannover, we will be launching a variety of new product innovations that boost mobility and connectivity in industrial applications.

SKF Enlight
SKF Enlight is a package that combines a powerful new mobile app with a special Bluetooth-enabled sensor. It allows non-expert staff to gather expert data such as vibration and temperature information, using standard mobile devices on demand.

The package features three main elements: a mobile app entitled Data Collect, which turns a standard mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet into a data collection device; the SKF Wireless Machine Condition Detector (WMCD), which is a special sensor that measures vibration and temperature data – and relays it to Data Collect via Bluetooth; and – if appropriate – ruggedized Atex Zone 1-compliant tablets and smartphones, if users need to collect data in hazardous areas such as oil & gas, refining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals .

TKSA 51
The TKSA 51 is a new SKF shaft alignment tool, which prevents shaft misalignment. Easy to use, the TKSA 51 is the first instrument designed for intuitive shaft alignments using tablets and smartphones. The app makes it quick and easy to set up of motors, drives, fans, gearboxes, pulleys and couplings, even by first time users. It comprises two compact and lightweight laser measuring units, designed to suit almost any application. Using the versatile shaft brackets, the instrument can be mounted on small machines with limited space, whilst extension chains, rods and magnetic holders are supplied for mounting the tool on large machines.

SKF Insight
The company has begun to apply SKF Insight – its revolutionary bearing health management technology – in several new industry projects . The technology, which uses a self-powered, intelligent wireless sensor in the bearing to provide instant condition monitoring data via the Internet, is undergoing trials in challenging projects in the wind turbine and rail industries.

In cooperation with SJ, the Swedish national rail operator, started to run SKF Insight on a railway vehicle. This trial will demonstrate the technical and commercial advantages; including the ability to improve the in-service availability of passenger rail vehicles, while reducing maintenance costs gradually.

SKF Insight monitors dynamic parameters such as vibration, temperature, lubrication condition and load, and informs the user when conditions are abnormal and can threaten to cause bearing damage. When it was launched, at Hannover 2013, SKF Insight was a technology concept – a way in which maintenance engineers might improve condition monitoring by keeping tabs on bearing health. Two years on, it is a fully functioning solution running in customer pilots, capable of supplying data directly to diagnostic centres for better condition monitoring via the SKF Cloud using SKF @ptitude

SKF to showcase a selection of technology innovations at Hannover 2015
Visitors to Hannover Messe 2015 will also get a glimpse of a selection of our other innovations, designed for use in a variety of industries, including Oil & Gas, Automotive and many more. These innovations will be displayed on individual exhibits at the SKF exhibition stand.

Top Drive exhibit
The top drive exhibit will showcase a range of our advanced solutions that are helping to improve the operational reliability of critical top drive systems in the oil and gas sector. This includes bearings, seals, lubrication and condition monitoring products.

The latest top drive equipment, used to rotate the drill string during the drilling process, offers a number of important benefits. It can, however, be subject to costly failures due to mud and lubricant contamination, excessive loads and vibration, or electrical discharges and hydraulic blockages. SKF top drive bearing solutions are designed to address these challenges. For example, the main tapered roller thrust bearing has been specifically designed for the drilling industry using the latest SKF modelling programs capable of simulating relevant operating conditions

Sliding Door Damper exhibit
The Sliding Door Damper (SDD) incorporates two gas springs and an oil damper, ensuring that doors up to 400kg in weight can quickly be brought to a soft, safe final position – almost no matter how hard they are closed. As well as acting as a brake, the SDD also positions the door in its closed position and is ideal for use in a range of sliding door structures, such as barn doors, room partitions and French windows.

The design - which is available in four different sizes, each with a different casing length - is a vast improvement on existing systems, which tend to use a single air-gas-oil spring, and are limited to doors up to 100kg in weight. At the same time, they are often bulky, expensive and require an electrical or hydraulic connection. The new product combines three separate functions: regressive braking; cushioned docking; and gentle closing. It decelerates the linear motion of doors, windows and even heavy drawers until they reach a defined end position.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System exhibit
Meeting the need for safer driving and increased efficiency, the SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System delivers reliable and wireless continuous tyre monitoring in trucks and trailers to prevent unplanned vehicle downtime.

Designed to reduce the risk of tyre blowouts, improve fuel economy and cut CO2 emissions, the Tyre Pressure Monitoring system features robust modules that are mounted externally on each wheel.  These monitor tyre pressure and temperature and are designed to eliminate the problems of air leakage that can often be found with other methods using external monitoring air-tubes. The temperature and pressure data collected is highly reliable due to using advanced algorithms for calculations and is transferred accurately due to a high signal strength of 2,4 GHz.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF and SKF Insight are registered trademarks of the SKF Group.
SKF EnCompass is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:15 pm
The development of an innovative, rolling bearing rating life model leads to a deeper insight into how to improve the field performance of bearing applications.

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF has launched a pioneering new model that will help engineers to calculate a more realistic bearing rating life by considering more influencing factors than before. The new model is a major step forward for the industry, and will play a vital role in enabling OEMs and end users to match bearings to application conditions with even greater certainty, resulting in improved bearing life and reduced operating costs.

Developed as part of the SKF EnCompass Field Performance Programme, the new SKF Generalized Bearing Life Model will enable original equipment designers and end users to more closely match bearings to actual application conditions.

SKF has developed the model and a corresponding technical paper, which due to its significance to the wider industrial and engineering disciplines has been submitted to the scientific community. The new model builds on the strengths of the current bearing life model, which was developed by SKF over 30 years ago, standardized in ISO 281:2007 and currently used worldwide.

The new SKF Generalized Bearing Life Model now successfully separates surface from sub-surface failure modes. Based on explicit tribological models, it factors in new performance parameters, including those for lubrication, contamination, surface strength and mild-wear resistance. By understanding and accounting for more potential failure modes, the model is able to more realistically predict bearing behaviour and life under a wide range of operating conditions in the field.

Alrik Danielson, SKF Group President and CEO, notes, “SKF is proud to be taking the lead once again in advancing the science of tribology and applying it to bearing optimisation in our customers’ applications. This innovative new model will improve our ability to help customers select bearings to meet their specific application needs in terms of bearing life, speed, energy use and more.”

The current bearing rating life model is primarily based on sub-surface fatigue damage accumulation which is transformed into a bearing survival probability by using the Weibull probability distribution model and then modified with surface stress concentration models for poor lubrication and lubricant contamination. The model is used to determine a bearing’s unique basic dynamic load rating, also known as C-value; the load for which the calculated rating life of the bearing population with 90% reliability is one million revolutions. However, today SKF high quality bearings rarely fail due to sub-surface fatigue damage. Nowadays failure is typically the result of surface damage caused by such factors as contamination, inadequate lubrication, or other environmental conditions that lead to surface distress and wear.

Bernd Stephan, Senior Vice President, Group Technology Development, explains, “C-value is still a relevant performance parameter, but it tells only part of the story because it doesn’t account for the bearing’s rolling contact micro-geometry, material properties and other critical factors. New steel heat treatments or materials, better surface textures and contact profiles, high-performance coatings, hybrid bearings, better lubricants – these things cannot be reflected with increases of a single sub-surface fatigue performance parameter like C-value. This is why new concepts in bearing life models are required which, combined with SKF’s application knowledge, to enable improved field performance.”

Another benefit of the new model is that it is flexible enough to allow the integration of new knowledge in the tribology and materials sciences as it is developed. As bearing science evolves, so will the model.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
SKF EnCompass is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:14 pm
With the introduction of the SKF EnCompass Field Performance Programme the company launches new, improved versions of four existing product lines to better match bearings for customers’ application needs.

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: To address customer needs for improved bearing field performance, SKF launches its new SKF EnCompass Field Performance Programme. Leveraging SKF’s depth of application experience and tribological knowledge, the company-wide initiative focuses on bearing design optimization and more detailed analysis of the factors influencing bearing rating life to help meet real-world application conditions.

As part of the programme, SKF has optimized its SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings, SKF Energy Efficient deep groove ball bearings, SKF Energy Efficient Y-bearings and units and SKF Explorer steel/steel plain bearings.

SKF EnCompass really demonstrates our dedication to understanding and fulfilling the needs of our customers. They face unique and challenging application conditions and with these optimized product lines and calculation methods, we can help them match bearings to running conditions better than ever before, resulting in improved bearing life and reduced operating costs”, says Helene Richmond, Head of SKF Product Lines.

As the result of improvements such as surface finishes and heat treatment, upgraded SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings can have a service life twice that of the previous industry-leading SKF Explorer bearings, especially under contaminated or poor lubrication conditions. In addition, with a new design that results in up to 50 percent less seal friction, small sealed spherical roller bearings now offer reduced operating temperatures by up to 20 °C, enabling limiting speeds to be doubled.

SKF Energy Efficient (E2) deep groove ball bearings can provide more than twice the service life while reducing energy use. Design improvements reduce frictional losses in the bearing by up to 30 percent when compared to the same-size SKF Explorer bearing. SKF now offers an extended catalogue range of shielded and sealed SKF E2 deep groove ball bearings in order to cover a larger range of application requirements.

SKF Energy Efficient (E2) Y-bearings and Y-bearing units are characterized by a frictional moment that is up to 50 percent lower when compared to the same-sized standard Y-bearing. In addition to the energy savings offered by SKF E2 Y-bearings, SKF now offers fully assembled SKF E2 Y-bearing units that combine SKF E2 Y-bearings and SKF composite housings. Helping to reduce total cost of ownership, these lightweight, cost-effective and ready-to-mount units are particularly well suited to applications where high speeds, moderate loads, reliability and minimal maintenance are all key parameters.


SKF Explorer steel/steel plain bearings are also part of the SKF EnCompass programme. They are initially lubricated and sealed to eliminate the need for relubrication in applications with low to moderate levels of contamination, such as those in off-highway applications. This generates significant savings by reducing maintenance costs and grease consumption. Additionally, extensive testing, in both the lab and the field, has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the dynamic load rating.

SKF EnCompass is a big part of SKF’s commitment to further improve field performance for customers and, within the program, more products, new knowledge and innovative software tools will be released over time.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
SKF EnCompass is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:13 pm
At the Hannover fair, SKF will demonstrate how its revolutionary SKF Insight technology is improving bearing health management in the railway and wind energy sectors

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April, 2015: SKF has begun to apply SKF Insight – its revolutionary bearing health management technology – in several high-end industry applications.

The technology, which uses a self-powered, intelligent wireless sensors in the SKF bearing to provide instant condition monitoring data via the Internet, is undergoing trials in challenging projects in the wind turbine and railway industries.

Applying SKF bearing health management algorithms to the data provided by SKF Insight allows an ‘adaptive’ approach to maintenance. While traditional condition monitoring detects bearing damage, SKF Insight spots the abnormal conditions that cause the damage and can take actions to prevent the damage.

“It goes beyond current ‘sensorised’ bearing technology by integrating a broader range of sensors, and could include self-powering and intelligent wireless technology,” said Ronnie Spolidoro, Business Development Manager SKF Insight “These bearings are connected to the SKF Cloud, giving customers access to a range of SKF diagnostic and support services, which ensures complete bearing health management.”

SKF Insight monitors dynamic parameters such vibration, temperature, lubrication condition and load, and informs the user when conditions are abnormal and can threaten to cause bearing damage. When it was launched, at Hannover 2013, SKF Insight was a technology concept – a way in which maintenance engineers might improve condition monitoring by keeping tabs on bearing health. Two years on, it is a fully functioning solution running in customer pilots, capable of supplying data directly to diagnostic centres for better condition monitoring via the SKF Cloud using SKF @ptitude. From here, dashboards and reports can be supplied to the plant operator, machine manufacturer, SKF or any other authorized person with internet access.

The data can also be accessed on mobile devices such as iPads – and this is how SKF Insight will be demonstrated during Hannover, in a live working exhibit.

Now using dynamic bearing data provided by SKF Insight, bearing health management is an innovative new approach under development which will determine how actual conditions are affecting bearing health and trigger corrective action to cure it – such as automatic addition of lubricant or altering machine conditions. This prevents damage to the bearing, to maximize its useful life.

One of the most promising areas of application for SKF Insight is in wind turbine monitoring, because of the huge cost of maintenance. In some cases, changing the main bearing on a wind turbine is so expensive that it undermines the business case for building the turbine in the first place. Used here, SKF Insight could monitor loads and lubrication conditions in service, giving plenty of time to prevent the development of damaging process conditions.

The company is already working with a wind turbine customer to develop such a system. It measures dynamic bearing information in the true operating state, then wirelessly communicates it to remote monitoring centres or local maintenance crews. The solution being developed will monitor bearing speed, vibration, temperature and lubrication condition. Most importantly, it can be retro-fitted – so could enhance the operational potential of both new turbines and the many thousands that are already in operation worldwide.

The company is developing a similar solution in the railway sector, for wheel end bearings -critical components that are usually changed at set intervals, regardless of their condition. SKF Insight creates a cost effective way of collecting condition monitoring data so that bearing life and change-out intervals are determined based on real operating conditions.

SKF Insight and bearing health management are among a series of innovations that SKF will showcase at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information can be found at hall 22, booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com .

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com


® SKF and SKF Insight are registered trademarks of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:12 pm
SKF’s intelligent bearing technology is deployed in a new project to monitor axle bearings wirelessly

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April, 2015: SKF has recently in cooperation with SJ, the Swedish national rail operator, started to run SKF Insight on a railway vehicle. This pilot will demonstrate the technical and commercial advantages of SKF Insight intelligent bearing technology when retrofitted to the wheelset axlebox assemblies used in passenger rail vehicles.

These advantages include the ability to improve the in-service availability of passenger rail vehicles, while reducing maintenance costs gradually and safely extending wheelset bearing maintenance intervals.

SKF Insight is a new generation of bearing technology, which integrates an intelligent, self-powered sensor and wireless device within a conventional bearing envelope. In the new rail system, this is combined with a node and gateway wireless infrastructure, enabling data from each wheelset to be gathered and transmitted in real time to a remote server for analysis. The system can easily be retrofitted to existing wheelsets without the need for modification.

This enables railway engineers to move safely from a reactive or scheduled maintenance approach, where bearings are changed at regular intervals regardless of condition, to a predictive maintenance regime, when bearings are only changed when they have reached a defined level of wear. Other advantages include the ability to minimize in-service incidents and the costs associated with false hot-box detection.

“Although wireless monitoring systems have been tested in the past they lack the intelligent, self-powered technology of SKF Insight. Just as importantly, no other supplier has the depth of knowledge and experience found at SKF, as we have been manufacturing and fitting wheelset bearings and condition monitoring tools in the rail industry for many years”, says Maurizio Giovannelli, Project Manager at SKF.

“This pilot project is a part of SJ’s effort to find new technical solutions, says Pär Söderström, Technical Specialist at SJ’s Vehicle Division. We are moving towards a condition based maintenance of our vehicles in the future, with further improved reliability and cost control. Here we see a big potential in the wireless technology that SKF offers and that we together will evaluate after the pilot.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF and SKF Insight are registered trademarks of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:11 pm
At the Hannover fair, SKF will showcase a range of advanced solutions that are helping to improve the operational reliability of critical top drive systems in the oil & gas sector

Gothenburg, 13 April 2015: A range of advanced products and systems from SKF, the knowledge engineering company, are playing an important role in improving the reliability and performance of critical top drive systems used in oil & gas drilling and exploration rigs. SKF top drive solutions include high performance bearings, seals, lubrication and condition monitoring products.

The latest top drive equipment is used to support and rotate the drill string during the drilling process in extreme environmental conditions – both onshore and offshore. Sometimes over 8 km in length, the drill string load on the top drive can exceed 1500 tons. And the drilling process creates additional torsional, vibration and shock loads, posing additional demands on the bearing system with as many as 6 different types of bearings located in 13 positions.

SKF top drive bearing solutions are designed to address these challenges. For example, the main tapered roller thrust bearing has been specifically designed for the drilling industry using the latest SKF modelling programs capable of simulating relevant operating conditions.

SKF Sensor bearing units solve application problems in the main drive motor and feature ceramic rolling elements, ATEX approved speed and direction of rotation sensors, high performance double lip seals – all in a lubricated for life, unitized assembly for easy mounting or field retrofit.

Also available are ATEX approved lubrication systems PS-143 gerotor pump, with flow limiters that precisely meter oil quantities, providing reliable and trouble-free lubrication for all lubrication points within each Top Drive unit.

Condition monitoring is an important element in SKF’s top drive offering. The company provides a portable range and online monitoring systems, including the Multilog On-line System family with the intrinsically safe DMx product or the IMx system for advanced monitoring. These systems provide insight into the mechanical health of the top drive, detect changes in operating conditions and allow maintenance work to be planned in advance.

Roland Muttenthaler of SKF, says, “The oil and gas segment is under increasing pressure, to both maintain margins and conform to increasingly tough safety and environmental legislation. Our top drive solutions are part of a wider range of products, asset optimisation services and technical support that help our customers improve the reliability, efficiency and cost performance of their drilling operations, wherever they are in the world.”

SKF’s top drive solutions are among those that will be on show at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information can be found at hall 22, booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 4366836; +1 215 801 8722; monique.turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.

Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:10 pm
Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF launches a new magnetic system, an oil- and contact-free drive solution for centrifugal compressors in chillers.

Combining a high-speed permanent magnet motor and active magnetic bearings with integrated controls, the magnetic system can operate with variable speed drives from various manufacturers to deliver energy savings of at least 10% versus conventional centrifugal compressor designs. In addition, the system’s vibration- and nearly friction-free performance capabilities enable extremely quiet operation.

“Our magnetic system can help OEMs streamline product design, development and assembly, as they produce new highly energy efficient centrifugal compressor chillers. This innovative technology also reduces maintenance costs for the user and provides them with reliable and cost-effective air conditioning,” says Richard Law, SKF Global Segment Manager, Fluid Machinery.

Electromagnets levitate the compressor shaft, allowing it to rotate without contact. By eliminating the mechanical contact and the losses that occur with oil-lubricated bearings, the magnetic system from SKF reduces energy use and costs significantly. By eliminating the need for oil lubrication, the system also improves heat transfer efficiency in the evaporator and condenser.

The permanent magnet motor at the heart of this SKF solution is more energy-efficient than induction motors at full and partial loads, and offers a higher power factor/lower current draw. It also operates with a smaller size variable speed drive than induction motors.

The system’s active magnetic bearings are capable of speeds in excess of 40,000 RPM, and can accommodate instant and frequent start-ups and transient surge forces. An active control system tracks and maintains rotor position to within a micron-sized orbit up to 15,000 times per second, eliminating vibration.

High-speed permanent magnetic motor solutions from SKF utilize technology pioneered by S2M, one of the world’s leading producers of magnetic bearings and high-speed permanent magnet motors. Acquired by SKF in 2007, S2M has been refining contact-free, levitating bearing technology for more than 30 years.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:09 pm

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April, 2015: SKF has announced the availability of its new pure refrigerant lubricated bearings, a unique oil-free solution for direct drive centrifugal compressors in chillers that uses low-viscosity refrigerant as the bearing lubricant. By eliminating the need for oil lubrication, the bearings reduce chiller energy use while simplifying system design and maintenance requirements.

Pure refrigerant lubricated bearings from SKF combine ceramic (silicon nitride) rolling elements, rings made of high-nitrogen, specially heat-treated stainless steel, and glass-fiber reinforced PEEK cages. The result is a bearing that can operate reliably using low-viscosity refrigerant as a lubricant, an innovation that enables energy savings of at least 10% versus conventional centrifugal compressor drive designs.

Traditionally, centrifugal compressors using low-viscosity refrigerants have been gear-driven designs that use hydrodynamic bearings lubricated with an oil-refrigerant mixture.

“It’s an approach that requires both a lubrication system and an oil separator to provide an oil-rich mixture to the gears and bearings and a refriger¬ant-rich mixture to the evaporator and condenser,” explains Richard Law, SKF Global Segment Manager, Fluid Machinery. “Pure refrigerant lubricated bearings from SKF provide simplified system design and oil-free operation by allowing low-viscosity refrigerants to be used as the lubricant in direct drive centrifugal compressors, enabling a much more energy efficient, low-maintenance solution.”

Tested and proven reliable through more than a decade of field operation, pure refrigerant lubricated bearings from SKF are already at work in industry-leading chillers, helping to lower energy use and costs, reduce maintenance, and eliminate oil-related environmental concerns.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. 

Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:08 pm
At the Hannover fair, SKF will launch SKF Enlight, a package that combines a powerful new mobile app with a special Bluetooth-enabled sensor. It allows non-expert staff to gather expert data such as vibration and temperature information, using standard mobile devices on an on-demand basis, gaining access to SKF specialist analysis.

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF has introduced a solution to help non-expert staff gather critical data. SKF Enlight is a platform that combines a mobile app, special sensor and, if appropriate, intrinsically safe hardware to allow fast, simple gathering of data from machinery.

There are three key elements to SKF Enlight, the first of which is Data Collect, an app that turns a standard mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet into a data collection device. Data can be sent directly to the SKF cloud, for expert analysis by the global SKF Remote Diagnostic Centre (RDC) network. The second key element is the SKF Wireless Machine Condition Detector (WMCD), a special sensor that measures vibration and temperature data – and relays it to Data Collect via Bluetooth. Finally, the third element is specially built Atex Zone 1-compliant tablets and smartphones, if users need to collect data in hazardous areas.

“The app is extremely simple to use, allowing non-vibration experts to collect expert data,” says Christoffer Malm, Head of Connectivity Room at SKF. “The user is only one button push away from RDC experts, who use their extensive knowledge to provide detailed analysis of a machine’s condition – and provide recommendations to rectify faults.”

The WMCD sensor, mounted magnetically to a machine, measures vibration and temperature data. This is then sent to the app – via Bluetooth – for visualization. Vibration levels are benchmarked against ISO standards. The user sees the assessment as a simple ‘traffic light’ (red, amber or green) indicator.

In addition, the WMCD takes a simultaneous measurement of the bearing’s condition – using patented SKF algorithms to assess the severity of damage and wear. Again, results are displayed in traffic light format. In the event of a warning or alert in any of the measured parameters, the user can request an ‘On Demand Diagnostic’ directly from the measurement screen. Collected data is sent wirelessly to an SKF RDC, where a vibration expert can analyze the data and send a report as to the cause of the high vibration directly to the users email account.

Dedicated vibration analyzers require a high level of competence, and are expensive for one-off measurements. SKF Enlight provides low-cost, easy to use instrumentation, with instant connection to SKF expertise through its RDC network. It will help users carry out vibration monitoring in a way not currently fulfilled by systems such as route-based or dedicated high end analyzers. Manufacturing facilities and repair shops are likely to be the first beneficiaries.

The SKF Enlight system is one of a series of innovations that SKF will showcase at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information is available in hall 22, at booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:07 pm
At the Hannover fair, SKF will launch a range of tablets and smartphones that have been developed for use in hazardous areas, to allow mobile working in a host of new industries

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April 2015: SKF is launching a suite of tablets and smartphones for use in hazardous areas, in industries such as oil & gas, refining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Mobile workers will now be able to take this kind of technology, which is often pre-loaded with a host of SKF condition monitoring and productivity apps, into previously inaccessible areas.

SKF, in partnership with ecom, is to launch a whole family of products, peripherals and accessories that are suitable for use in Zone 1/Division 1, Zone 2/Division 2 and harsh environments.

”These tablets offer SKF customers the ability to bring mobility to hazardous areas, using the most modern tools and apps,” says Christoffer Malm, Head of Connectivity Room at SKF. ”The products connect to SKF apps, which in turn connect to SKF knowledge and expertise.”

The products can be supplied as part of SKF Enlight, a package that includes: Data Collect, a powerful app that turns the tablet or smartphone into a data collection device; and WMCD, a special sensor that measures vibration and temperature data. These work well in conjunction with standard tablets and smartphones, but can now also be used in hazardous areas.

Features of the new hazardous area devices include: intrinsic safety, supporting Zone 1/Division 1 and Zone 2/Division 2; Android 4.4; suitable for use with gloves; connectivity via WWAN, 4G LTE* and WLAN, plus NFC technology for wireless applications; 1. 3 Megapixel front camera, 3 Megapixel rear camera with flash, plus barcode scanner; and GPS.

The intrinsically safe tablets and smartphones are among a series of innovations that SKF will showcase at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). For more information, visit SKF in hall 22, booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com 

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:06 pm

How can a complex operation keep track of thousands of pages of documents, including measurements, drawings, tables and photos? To address this demanding task, SKF has developed a cloud-based solution, SKF Data Collect, using iPads to record and manage data.

Making the transition from volumes of paper to an entirely electronic, cloud-based data solution is no small undertaking when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of quality measurements recorded each year. To solve this problem, SKF is pioneering an iPad system, SKF Data Collect, to help customers record and manage their data.  While SKF is well known in the bearing business, developing this kind of technical solutions is an evolution for the company.

A growing trend

“Although SKF’s legacy is with bearing technology and other mechanical industrial solutions, the company has recognized that industrial businesses are becoming more and more computer dependent. This is the reason that SKF is evolving its product and service offerings to include cloud-based tools that make life easier for industrial customers”, says Jerry Schick, key account manager at SKF Strategic Industries. “The model is software as a service so customers don’t have to reinstall software or worry about keeping their system up to date. We take care of updates – it’s all part of the service.”

One of the SKF customers using SKF Data Collect is US-based EthosEnergy which recently partnered with SKF to shape the future of how massive amounts of inspection data will be recorded, stored and accessed. The company specializes in gas turbine refurbishment for the oil, gas and power generating industries.

“I saw the product at the SKF Asset Management Conference in Dallas in 2013,” says Mike Fisher, president of EthosEnergy Light Turbines LLC, in Houston, Texas. “We’re dealing with 240,000 precise dimensional measurements made and recorded traditionally on paper, over the year. Imagine all those documents – very weighty – and as it’s on paper, all the information is instantly out of date the minute it’s recorded. We need it to be digital and alive so that we can analyse it in real time.”

A highly customizable and configurable product

Fisher says he had seen other similar products but none provided the versatility that SKF promised: a highly customizable, configurable product that could display data, drawings and tables as well as store information and photos.

EthosEnergy takes in a range of sub 12 MW gas turbines and driven equipment and overhauls them to extremely high quality standards – ISO 9001, 9004, 14001 and 18001. The task can be daunting, with more than 4,000 components per turbine. Technicians work methodically in the spotless facility, efficiently following the necessary steps, first assessing the condition of each part, then recording precise dimensions and assessing exacting repair procedures to return the component to “as new” condition. Finally, post-repair, re-recording all the data and assembling the complex machine for full-load testing. The entire process takes up to 16 weeks, cataloguing the state of the parts along the way with technical details and photos. All these measurements are stored for years, and they may need to be referenced for various reasons. To check on the status of any given engine or part would require walking to each station, looking up the work order and talking with the technician.

Fisher had already assigned Nelson Muchacho, quality control manager, to develop an information database tool for use at the EthosEnergy facility when Fisher learned about SKF Data Collect.

Great benefit for the organization

“For me, this has been a blessing,” says Muchacho. “To put it into perspective, today we have 74 project work orders open. Each requires about 500 pages of documents, so the numbers gather quickly. We’ve converted to this iPad app to digitize and automatically access multiple projects at any given time – that’s 35,000 pages no longer in storage boxes. This is a great benefit for the organization in terms of productivity and efficiency.”

“EthosEnergy needs to record this data so it can be used for analysis later on,” says Schick. “This data-based process has a dual function: It is an integrated system, so you can have work teams in different sections working with the information, and in SKF Data Collect you have a visual display at each stage of the disassembly and remanufacturing process. The whole team can be alerted as to where a work order is during the entire process. Photos are electronically attached to the inspection data, and the iPad supports a final signature from each technician as he completes his work. SKF Data Collect resynchronizes and shares that information securely every five to 10 minutes through the SKF cloud.”

Robust cases

The iPads have heavy-duty cases for the shop. “They’re delivered with an industrial waterproof case,” Schick says. “They can be dropped on the floor or dipped in water; they’re pretty robust.”

The industrial-strength iPad cases help ensure the SKF Data Collect program can withstand the constant use in this shop, because there are no plans to return to paper. Fisher was an early adopter of this type of technology, and his input into some of the SKF Data Collect functions from a customer perspective was invaluable in fine-tuning the application for commercial use.

User-friendly and super-slick

Fisher couldn’t be more pleased. “It’s a super-slick product,” he says. “I can walk out to the shop floor, pick up an iPad, drill down to any component and examine the data for that component from any position in the shop, and it’s very user-friendly – anyone with an iPad or iPhone quickly adapts to this system. People mistakenly think we’re all about wrenches and hammers, but actually we use a very sophisticated component design system. We have to provide an extremely high-quality product or we won’t be able to compete. That’s what our quality drive is all about.”

Fisher and Schick both expect the system to take off as a valuable addition to multiple industries. “It’s applicable to many different applications requiring complex data,” Fisher says. “We have a partner overseas that wishes to conduct overhauls. I can manage almost the entire QM [quality management] side from afar if they’ll adopt SKF Data Collect. In the utility industry that we work with, it would be a great tool for outage management and tracking. It can provide tremendous advantages for field crews. I see a lot of opportunity.”

FACT BOXES: 

SKF Data Collect

The SKF Data Collect system combines the intuitiveness of an app, the power of SKF’s knowledge in data collection and machine inspections, and the safety of the SKF cloud.

Benefits

  • Improved data quality and consistency
  • Fast access to actionable information
  • Safe storage of information in the SKF cloud.

Typical applications

  • Machine inspections
  • Operator instructions
  • Audits and quality assurance
  • Work orders
  • Check lists and much more.
EthosEnergy

Industry: Oil and gas, industrial combined heat and power

Product: Gas turbine overhauls, exchange engines, repairs, parts and field services, turbo machinery engineered solutions
 
Founded: In 2014 following a joint venture between Wood Group and Siemens, bringing together Wood Group’s gas turbine services business with Siemens’s TurboCare to create a single independent service provider of rotating equipment services and solutions to the power, oil and gas and industrial markets.

Headquarters: Houston, Texas

Operations: Global

Employees: 4,500.

Aktiebolaget SKF
        (publ)

For further information, please contact:

Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:05 pm
The new intuitive app-powered shaft alignment tool from SKF allows operators to use the TKSA 51 at first sight and confidently align machinery with great precision.

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13 April, 2015: SKF, the knowledge engineering company, presents an innovative shaft alignment tool at Hannover Fair 2015. The TKSA 51 is the first instrument designed for intuitive shaft alignments using tablets and smartphones. The app makes it quick and easy to set up of motors, drives, fans, gearboxes, pulleys and couplings, even by operators who use the instrument for the first time.

The new TKSA 51 comprises two compact and lightweight laser measuring units, designed to suit almost any application. Using the versatile shaft brackets, the instrument can be mounted on small machines with limited space, whilst extension chains, rods and magnetic holders are supplied for mounting the tool on large machines.

Connected wirelessly, the app uses real time data to provide a live 3D view of the measuring units. This gives operators the possibility to rotate the virtual machine at their convenience in all directions, making the alignment as intuitive as possible. Measurements are made by a simple touch of a button or by the hands-free automatic measurement function which just needs the shaft to be rotated to the next measurement position.

Jens Kammann, Product Manager at SKF Maintenance Products, points out that, “Shaft misalignment is one of the main causes of machine failure. It creates additional forces and vibration that can damage machine components such as bearings, seals and couplings, adding considerably to operating and maintenance costs. Often, we find shafts not being aligned correctly because the applied method or instrument is time consuming and difficult to use, leading to mistakes and incorrect alignments. The TKSA 51 eliminates these problems, making it the ideal companion for every alignment task. As a result, engineers can significantly increase uptime, with the confidence that machines are correctly setup for efficient and cost-effective operation.”

The great measurement freedom is just one of the core features of the systems, allowing alignments in confined spaces as measurements can start at any start at any angle and only require a total shaft rotation of 40°.Further alignment adjustments are possible with alignment targets that, for example, can be set to compensate the thermal growth of the machinery. After each alignment check or correction, a comprehensive report is created that can easily be customised, emailed or uploaded to a cloud service for future reference. To aid the user, notification and helpful guidance menus are displayed if a problem occurs during set up, such as the detector being off centre or the laser beam being too close to the edge of the detector.

The TKSA 51 is supplied by SKF as a comprehensive system for all alignment tasks. The app can easily be downloaded and offers a fully functional demonstration mode for trying the TKSA 51 before purchase. It will be on show at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th) at hall 22, booth B12. Further information can be found on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. 
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:04 pm

SKF will be launching its magnetic bearing E300V2 control cabinet for turbo-machinery and highlighting the advantages of its S2M active magnetic bearing technology at the Hannover Fair 2015

Gothenburg, 13 April 2015: SKF, the knowledge engineering company, will be launching its latest magnetic bearing E300V2 control cabinet for use with a wide range of turbo-machinery at this year’s Hannover Fair. There will be a virtual display of the new system, showing the advantages of SKF active magnetic bearing technology for use in large turbomachinery.

The new E300V2 is a digital electronic control cabinet that replaces an earlier version; 650 units of which have been installed at different sites around the world.

The E300V2 is a modular system for improved reliability and maintenance and incorporates a number of important new features. These include remote monitoring and diagnostics, redundancy of key components, backup UPS and a high-resolution data acquisition system. The latter monitors operating conditions, such as rotation speed, vibration and temperature in real time, allowing engineers to visualise rotation orbits, with 3D waterfalls and graphs showing spectral analyses, time snapshots and other critical parameters. It has embedded tools, qualified on sub-sea projects, for remote access that allows performing analysis and adjustment of operating parameters.

Askar Gubaidullin, Business Development Manager for SKF Magnetic Mechatronics, explains, “SKF has worked closely for many years with the world’s leading manufacturers and operators of onshore, offshore and subsea turbo-machinery. The new E300V2 is the culmination of this knowledge and experience, offering the opportunity to minimise costs while improving reliability. Its optimized control system reduces commissioning time of the rotation equipment. Moreover, the new system provides plant operators with high degree of autonomy”.

These advantages are extended still further through the use of SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings. These can increase the operating range of turbo-machines, allowing rotation at higher-speeds with much greater operating flexibility. When used in integrated motor-compressors they eliminate the need for lubrication, thereby reducing the footprint and maintenance, and also eliminate gear boxes, seals and auxiliary cooling systems, to cut capital and operating costs.

SKF S2M active magnetic bearings have more than 1,000 references in large turbo-machinery around the world, in centrifugal compressors, turbo-expanders, gas turbines and motors.

Further information can be found at a specially constructed exhibit at the Hannover Fair, on stand B12 in Hall 22 and also at www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner +1 2674366836; +1 215 801 8722; monique.turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:03 pm

At the Hannover fair, SKF will demonstrate its Sliding Door Damper whose unique design ensures that heavy sliding doors are brought to a halt safely and smoothly

Gothenburg, 13 April 2015: SKF has developed a revolutionary design of damping system that brings heavy sliding doors to a smooth close.

The Sliding Door Damper (SDD) incorporates two gas springs and an oil damper, ensuring that doors up to 400kg in weight can quickly be brought to a soft, safe final position– almost no matter how hard they are closed. As well as acting as a brake, the SDD also positions the door in its closed position.

“Now it is possible to close heavy sliding doors completely without bouncing.” says Hans Intelmann, head of product design at SKF Group company HAHN Gasfedern.

The design is a vast improvement on existing systems, which tend to use a single air-gas-oil spring, and are limited to doors up to 100kg in weight. Existing comparable products for heavier doors are often bulky, expensive and require an electrical or hydraulic connection.

The new product combines three separate functions: regressive braking; cushioned docking; and gentle closing. It decelerates the linear motion of doors, windows and even heavy drawers until they reach a defined end position.

The SDD is mounted to the sliding door, and consists of a longitudinal section with a floating piston at each end – plus a damper piston that runs in oil. Both ends of the SDD are filled with gas which makes an oil leakage almost impossible. A hook is connected to the piston rod of the damping element. As the door is pushed shut, it engages the hook, which unlocks the pre-stressed damping element. The door’s momentum pulls on the piston rod, causing the damping piston to brake in the oil. It comes to a gentle halt when it presses against the air spring at the ‘closed’ end.

The SDD is designed in four different sizes, each with a different casing length. This allows the concept to handle doors ranging from 60 up to 400kg. The smallest model, the ‘Soft Close’ 04-12, is the first to launch: it has a casing length of 315mm and can handle door weights of 60-100kg. It is aimed at manufacturers of furniture and furniture fittings. At the top end, the 08-23 model will have a casing length of 480mm and a capability of 200-400kg door weights.

The SDD is likely to be used in a range of sliding door structures, such as barn doors, room partitions and French windows. SKF sees opportunities with manufacturers and wholesalers of sliding doors, furniture and construction fittings.

The Sliding Door Damper (SDD) is among a series of innovations that SKF will showcase at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information can be found in hall 22, booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 4366836; +1 215 801 8722; monique.turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:02 pm
The innovative new SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System will help truck operators cut cost and improve safety

Gothenburg, 13 April 2015: SKF is launching an innovative tyre pressure monitoring device for use on heavy goods vehicles. The SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System will be shown for the first time at the Hannover Fair 2015 and has been introduced to help haulage companies and fleet operators reduce the cost of tyre repairs and replacement, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while improving road safety.

The SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is designed for use in the OEM segment, for truck and trailer manufacturers. This latest innovation is part of the SKF BeyondZero portfolio, which includes solutions that deliver significant environmental benefits.

The system comprises robust modules that are mounted externally on each wheel. These monitor tyre pressure and temperature and are designed to eliminate the problems of air leakage that can often be found with other methods using external monitoring air-tubes. Data is captured and transmitted wirelessly using a high signal strength of 2.4 GHz to a central control unit. This uses advanced algorithms to calculate tyre pressure accurately, with the output being shown to the driver in real time on a dashboard display.

The entire system is efficient, reliable and simple to install and use.

Stephanie Petremont, SKF Project Manager, Automotive, says, “Research has shown that 32% of all truck downtime is related to problems with tyres. In particular, incorrectly pressurised tyres will increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, reduce tyre life and, in extreme conditions cause potentially dangerous blow-outs. As an example, over or under inflation of a tyre by 15% can reduce tyre life by as much as 10%, while 10% under inflation of all tyres on a vehicle leads to an increase in fuel consumption; in real terms, The SKF Tyre Pressure Monitoring System would help a three-axle semi-trailer truck driving 160000 km per year to cut CO2 emissions by 7.58 g/km and save 500 litres of diesel per year.”

Further information can be found at a specially constructed exhibit at the Hannover Fair, on stand B12 in Hall 22 and also at www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Aktiebolaget SKF

       (publ)

For further information, please contact: 

Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 4366836; +1 215 801 8722 ;  Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group. 
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:01 pm

SKF ePowertrain technology, to be introduced at the Hannover Fair 2015, will reduce production costs for HEV manufacturers and improve energy efficiency in service

Gothenburg, 13 April 2015: The latest ePowertrain technology from SKF, the knowledge engineering company, has been developed to help the manufacturers of hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV) to reduce assembly and production costs. The new technology will also play an important role in improving vehicle efficiencies, reducing energy use, CO2 emissions and extending operating range.

The ePowertrain portfolio is built around a number of innovative and complementary products, all of which will be shown at the Hannover Fair in 2015.

The portfolio includes a unique SKF Rotor Positioning Sensor Bearing Unit, which is designed to improve the control of permanent magnet motors. The unit integrates a low friction bearing and intelligent sensor in a single compact and low weight assembly. This is quick and simple to install on the production line, offers improved motor power density and enhanced control of motor torque, reducing overall noise and vibration.

Also available is the SKF Motor Encoder Sensor-Bearing Unit. This provides precise encoder pulses for the accurate real time measurement
 of motor speed, direction and incremental position, together with low friction, reduced noise and high speed bearing functionality.

Other products in the ePowertrain portfolio include customised bearings for steering column applications, providing significantly reduced noise level while maintaining existing performance characteristics, and extremely robust, low friction and high speed ball bearings to enhance electric motor efficiency and power density still further.

Alberto Carlevaris, Powertrain Engineering, says, “We have developed our ePowertrain product portfolio to help HEV manufacturers improve the efficiency of vehicle sub-systems. This in turn reduces CO2 emissions while contributing to the vehicle driving experience through extended range and reduced noise and vibration.”

The latest SKF ePowertrain products will form part of specially constructed exhibit at the Hannover Fair and can be seen on stand B12 in Hall 22. Further information can be found at www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 4366836; +1 215 801 8722; monique.turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.

Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 13, 2015, 2:00 pm
Gothenburg, 09 April, 2015: SKF is supplying Koenigseggs with front and rear wheel hub bearing units equipping their new car model Regera, launched at the Geneva Autoshow early March.

Jean-Sylvain Migliore, Manager Racing, Automotive Market says, “Our development of components to fit the needs of motorsport and performance cars is really pushing SKF to the extremes. Designing the bearings to fit the ultimate driving experience with mega performance providing high customer satisfaction is a pure pleasure. We take great pride in our work and we are happy to be contributing to Koenigseggs power and responsiveness.”

The Regera offers a combination of power, responsiveness and luxury. In spite of all its advanced technology and high comfort level, the Regera is comparatively light. This allows it to still perform competitively around a race circuit. However, on the highway, the Regera will reign as “King of the road”, as the fastest accelerating, most powerful production car ever, according to Koenigsegg.
The Regera will be handcrafted in only 80 examples.

SKF has been a partner to Koenigsegg since its beginning, and also supplies the Agera RS and ONE:1 with wheel bearings.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722; Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide.
Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 9, 2015, 12:00 pm
Gothenburg, 08, April 2015:  SKF today announced the introduction of the SKF Ultrasonic sensor to improve fill-level monitoring on SKF and Lincoln branded pumps and reservoirs with lubricant capacities in excess of five liters (1,321 US gal). Developed for oil and grease applications, the sensor provides both low-level and full-level messages for optimum operation.

Virtually maintenance free, the SKF Ultrasonic sensor utilizes ultrasonic waves to provide a non-contact measurement of the distance to the lubricant surface. Depending on preset window limits, a distance proportional analog signal is output. The sensor’s two color LED indicates operation and the status of the analog output.

Maintaining the appropriate amount of lubricant in the reservoir helps to avoid under-lubrication and possible equipment damage, while preventing overfilling reduces waste and protects the environment. The SKF Ultrasonic sensor also improves the reliability of monitoring the pump function. The new sensor is suitable for mining, rail, heavy industry and food and beverage applications, as well as any industry that uses large lubricant reservoirs.


Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722;  monique.turner@skf.com


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 8, 2015, 12:00 pm

Gothenburg, Sweden, 8 April 2015:The SKF Group will publish its results for the first quarter on 17April 2015 and welcomes investors, analysts and members of themedia to take part in a conference call, which will be held inEnglish, at 09:00 (CET), 08:00 (UK time).

The following SKF Executives will bepresent on the call:
Alrik Danielson, President and CEO
Henrik Lange, Executive Vice President andCFO
Kristina Franzen, Director, Group Controlling andAccounting
Marita Björk, Head of Investor Relations
Theo Kjellberg, Press and Media RelationsDirector

To join the conference call, pleasedial-in using the following details at least 10 minutes before thestart of the call:

SE: +46 8 5033 6538
UK: +44 20 3427 1902
US: +1 212 444 0895

Please inform the operator that youwish to take part in the SKF conference call.

The Group's results for the firstquarter of 2015 will be published around 08:00 (CET). Allinformation regarding the results will be made available on theGroup’s website: http://investors.skf.com/quarterlyreporting.

Media: To pre-bookinterviews with Alrik Danielson and Henrik Lange after theconference call, please contact Theo Kjellberg on theo.kjellberg@skf.com / +46 31-3376576.

Restated figures for SKF'sbusiness areas for 2013 and 2014
As earlier announced, SKF operates through threebusiness areas as of 1 January 2015. The main structural change wasthe merging of the two previous industrial business areas,Strategic Industries and Regional Sales and Service into onebusiness area, Industrial Market. Financial figures for 2013 and2014 have been restated to conform to the new structure and areavailable for download on the Group’s website: http://www.skf.com/group/investors/.

Aktiebolaget SKF
(publ)

For further information,please contact:
Media Hotline: +46 31-337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576; +46 725-77 65 76;theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181 994;marita.bjork@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier ofbearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and serviceswhich include technical support, maintenance and reliabilityservices, engineering consulting and training. SKF is representedin more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributorlocations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 millionand the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 8, 2015, 6:00 am

SKF magnetic bearings installed in oil-free natural gas centrifugal compressor delivers 25 years of continued operation at the TransCanada - Wolf Lake compressor station in Alberta, Canada.


Gothenburg, Sweden 7 April 2015: SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings installed in the centrifugal gas compressor at TransCanada Pipelines, Wolf Lake, natural gas compressor station are still operating after a quarter of a century. The compressor station, with magnetic bearings installed in the centrifugal gas compressor, shows overall availability of 98.5% in last five (5) years.  These magnetic bearings were installed in the late 1980s as part of TransCanada's oil-free compressor initiative, and provide high reliability with minimal servicing and maintenance.

The 25 year operation of the SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings at Wolf Lake compressor station, which commissioned a 25MW pipeline compressor driven by a gas turbine in 1989, underlines how frictionless, oil-free, low maintenance SKF bearings bring enhanced reliability to oil and gas applications. The magnetic bearing technology offers numerous advantages over regular bearings as it eliminates costly and high maintenance oil-auxiliary systems and the associated fire hazards and oil disposal costs. Overall operational costs and environmental impacts of compressor installations are also reduced with the inclusion of dry gas seals.

“TransCanada Pipelines operates 33 compressors equipped with SKF S2M magnetic bearings. Following 25 years of service, the magnetic bearing technology has proven to be highly reliable for the last 10 years of operation.  This comes after a number of years of continuous improvement efforts carried out jointly by TransCanada and SKF, said Chris Wells Manager Compressor Fleet Maintenance. Although the magnetic bearings require minimal service and maintenance, when called into action SKF has provided timely support and forward-thinking advice. Field service is provided by SKF in Calgary. Overall we are very satisfied with this clean technology and service.”

The robust SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings widen the operating range of machines, allowing rotation at higher-speeds and the capability to withstand higher operation loads, providing customers with much greater operating flexibility. As a result, SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings have become an industry standard and a preferred customer choice for most oil and gas applications. This is why SKF recently celebrated the commission of its 1,000th S2M Magnetic Bearing System for this segment.

With more than 130,000 units in operation across many industries, SKF has unparalleled experience meeting customer needs in active magnetic bearings solutions; from smaller semi-conductor manufacturing equipment, requiring precise operation in demanding environments, to heavy duty turbo-machines in oil and gas. 

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722;  Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK  70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: April 7, 2015, 12:00 pm

SKF sensor bearings offer a new generation of SKF Motor Encoder Unit that delivers longer service life and reduced maintenance costs in AC induction motors

Gothenburg, 2 April 2015: SKF announced today that it has developed a new Generation of Motor Encoder Unit able to deliver accurate signals to the controller, even in a harsh electromagnetic environment of an AC induction motor. This signal enables reliable motor control by monitoring of speed and direction of the shaft. As a result, the end user enjoys a longer sensor bearing service life, greater reliability and reduced maintenance costs, thanks to this integrated solution.

This new sensor bearing includes a Faraday Cage effect that provides the physical shield from external magnetic fields, together with an embedded Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) filter to protect from power surges and electrostatic discharge.

SKF Product Development Program Manager, Francois Niarfeix, commented: “This new generation of SKF Motor Encoder Unit is answering the upcoming market demands. By putting all SKF competences together, we achieved our goal to offer a reliable sensor bearing that can fit different environments. The result of this is a cost-effective and long lasting product for our customers.”

Built as a compact design, this new generation SKF Motor Encoder Unit is easy to mount, fully interchangeable with the previous generation of models and in line with industry standards.


Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722;  Monique.Turner@skf.com


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK  70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: April 2, 2015, 12:00 pm

The technical partnership between Ducati and SKF has produced racing success for over 70 years.  New integrated technology is key for the future.

Gothenburg, 27 March 2015: SKF has sponsored the Italian motor cycle manufacturer Ducati for over 70 years, helping the company to achieve unparalleled racing success in the World Superbike Championship.

SKF has been a Ducati Corse Official Technical partner for many years and the relationship between the two companies has been strengthened year after year preparing the way for new technical developments in the future.

SKF designs and manufactures a wide range of high performance bearings that are used by Ducati in wheel hubs, gearboxes, camshafts, clutches and suspension assemblies.  These are engineered to meet the ever tougher demands of the motorsport sector.

Luigi Dall’Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, explains, “At the moment, we are using the latest technology to gain valuable information, especially about the engine. It is vital to be able to determine, for example, the loads at certain times, in particular situations. We believe that SKF’s help is essential to continue this development which will, more and more, integrate mechanical components with electronics. In a small contained system such as a racing bike, the integration between the electronic and mechanical systems is becoming increasingly critical to reduce weight while improving reliability and performance. This is an area where we expect to make real progress with SKF in 2015."

Franco Ferro, Bearing Sales Director, Automotive Market, says, “We’re excited to be working again with Ducati for the 2015 racing season. Our latest technology is being used in the new Desmosedici GP15. This is a fantastic bike that factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone will compete with in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. We’re expecting great results that will build on Ducati’s proud racing heritage.”

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact: Press Relations:
Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722; Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 27, 2015, 1:00 pm

Gothenburg, 26 March 2015: TheAnnual General Meeting of Aktiebolaget SKF, parent company of theSKF Group, was held in Göteborg on Thursday, 26 March 2015, underthe chairmanship of Mr Leif Östling.

The income statements and thebalance sheets were adopted, together with the Board’s proposal fordistribution of dividend. A dividend of SEK 5.50 per share wasapproved. To be entitled to receive the dividend, shareholders mustbe recorded in the share register on 30 March 205.

The Meeting resolved that theBoard’s fee for 2015 is to be in accordance with the following:
a) a firm allotment of SEK 7,750,000 to be distributed with SEK1,900,000 to the Chairman of the Board, and with SEK 650,000 toeach other Board member elected by the General Meeting and notemployed by the company; and

b) an allotment for committee workof SEK 960,000 to be distributed with SEK 220,000 to the chairmanof the Audit Committee, with SEK 157,000 to each of the othermembers of the Audit Committee, with SEK 126,000 to the chairman ofthe Remuneration Committee and with SEK 100,000 to each of theother members of the Remuneration Committee.

A prerequisite for obtaining anallotment is that the Board member is elected by the GeneralMeeting and is not employed by the company.

The following Board members werere-elected: Mr Leif Östling, Ms Lena Treschow Torell, Mr PeterGrafoner, Mr Lars Wedenborn, Mr Joe Loughrey, Mr Jouko Karvinen, MrBaba Kalyani, Mr Hock Goh and Ms Marie Bredberg. The followingBoard members where newly elected: Ms Nancy Gougarty and Mr AlrikDanielson.

Mr Leif Östling was elected Chairmanof the Board.

The Meeting approved the Board’sproposal regarding principles of remuneration for Group Managementand the Board’s proposal for a resolution on SKF’s PerformanceShare Programme 2015. The programme covers not more than 225 seniormanagers and key employees in the SKF Group with an opportunity tobe allotted, free of charge, SKF B shares. Under the programme, notmore than 1,000,000 shares, corresponding to around 0.2% of thetotal number of outstanding shares, may be allotted. The number ofshares that may be allotted must be related to the average TVAdevelopment during 2015-2017 compared to the actual TVA in2014.

The Meeting approved the proposalpresented regarding the Nomination Committee.

Aktiebolaget SKF
(publ)

For further information, pleasecontact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +4631-337 6576; +46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +4631-337 1994; +46 705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier ofbearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and serviceswhich include technical support, maintenance and reliabilityservices, engineering consulting and training. SKF is representedin more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributorlocations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 millionand the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark ofthe SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKFGroup

Posted: March 26, 2015, 3:00 pm
Gothenburg, 19 March 2015: SKF is supplying PSA Group with wheel hub bearing units, for front and rear wheels, MacPherson suspension bearing units, clutch bearing units, engine seals as well as selected gearbox bearings for the recently launched Citroen C4 Cactus and Peugeot 2008.

Virgine Dinca, Strategic Account Manager, Automotive Market says, “These latest small SUVs have impressive new design features. SKF is equipping these models with several solutions to support the performance requirements for more power, while improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. SKF has a long partnership with the PSA Group and has successfully provided them with valuable solutions to optimize vehicle handling and fuel economy”.

These small SUVs are equipped with wheel hub bearing units and MacPherson suspension bearing units that help to optimize the driving performance in different road conditions. In the engine valve stem seals and PTFE crankshaft seals support the overall fuel consumption and CO2 reduction targets. SKF’s specific design for clutch bearing units, installed in the manual gearboxes, offers consistent “best in class” response over the life time of the application.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact: Press Relations:
Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722; Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: March 19, 2015, 1:00 pm
At ANUGA, SKF will demonstrate its expertise in asset management – and explain how this helped Nestlé to make improvements at one of its plants

Gothenburg, Sweden, 18 March 2015: SKF will demonstrate its wide-ranging capabilities at the ANUGA FoodTec, including a detailed presentation of how its approach in asset management helped Nestlé to make improvements. SKF will also conduct discussions about the future of asset management and how to improve current asset management practices in order to impact line performance and reach business goals.

“In many cases, taking a new approach to existing asset management practices – with just small adjustments in the way maintenance is managed – can have a huge effect on results,” says Egon Doyer, Global Business Manager for Asset Reliability Consulting at SKF.

Doyer will present these ideas in depth at a special Speakers’ Corner presentation on Thursday 26 March at 10:30-11:00. In the presentation, he will explore the future of asset management through a range of topics, including:
  • Trends SKF can foresee impacting the future of asset management versus trends seen 10 years ago
  • How can industry players change current practices to be ready? A reference case from Nestlé
  • Digital business solutions to support asset management efficiency

Furthermore, at the show SKF will showcase industry specific sealing solutions, such as standard seals (radial and axial shaft seals, fluid seals) as well as application-optimised seals, made of FDA approved materials. One example is the blue ECOPUR 95A-blFG sealing compound that meets the strict requirements of Regulation (EC) 1935/2004.

Egon Doyer’s presentation on the future of asset management and the specific sealing solutions are  just a few of many capabilities showcased by SKF at this year’s ANUGA FoodTec fair (March 24th – 27th). More information can be found in hall 05.1, booth B-040.

Aktiebolaget SKF
       (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 2:00 pm

Gothenburg, 18 March 2015: SKF willsupply CFM International with mainshaft and gearbox bearings forthe LEAP engine program, a high-bypass aircraft turbofanengine.

SKF has a long business relationshipwith CFM International and has contributed knowledge inmanufacturing technology, design and testing of mainshaft andaccessory gearbox bearings throughout the development of the LEAPengine.

The ceramic hybrid mainshaftbearings that have been developed for the LEAP engine program willhelp contribute to a lighter, quieter and more fuel efficientaircraft engine, that emits up to 16% less carbon than itspredecessor, the CFM56.

“Being involved in one of theindustry’s most prestigious engine development programs is anexciting opportunity for us. It is also an acknowledgment that ourcollaborative approach to technology development supports theindustry’s focus on reducing emissions,” says Patrick Tong,President, Specialty Business.

LEAP is a next-generation aircraftengine being designed and developed with a focus on improving fuelconsumption and reducing emissions and noise levels. Variations ofthe LEAP engine will equip the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX andCOMAC C919 aircrafts.    

Aktiebolaget SKF
(publ)

For further information, pleasecontact:
Media Hotline:
+46 31 337 2400
Press Relations:
Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576;+46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations:
Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181994; marita.bjork@skf.com

    


SKF is a leading global supplier ofbearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and serviceswhich include technical support, maintenance and reliabilityservices, engineering consulting and training. SKF is representedin more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributorlocations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 millionand the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKFGroup.

Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 am

New bearing technology from SKF is helping to improve the gearbox performance and race life for this Scuderia Ferrari’s season

Gothenburg, Sweden, 12 March 2015: SKF, the knowledge engineering company, is continuing its partnership with Scuderia Ferrari in 2015, with the development of specialised components and systems to reduce weight and frictional power losses.

SKF has worked closely with Scuderia Ferrari to produce bearing sets manufactured from specially developed tool steel. By adapting the heat treatment process, SKF has been able to optimise the surface hardness properties. This makes each bearing extremely resistant to surface fatigue and able to withstand the exceptionally high contact stresses found in Formula One applications. As a result, bearings can be downsized without affecting performance or reliability.

The new bearing sets are now being used in the latest Scuderia Ferrari gearbox, where the ability to downsize has helped reduce overall weight by more than 20%. Gearbox performance is improved still further by the use of ceramic bearing rollers and optimised internal geometries; combined, these are making a significant reduction in frictional power losses.

In a further development, Scuderia Ferrari is also using the latest condition monitoring technology from SKF. This is based on the company’s modular IMx platform, which has been re-engineered to meet the specific demands of the Team. In particular, SKF has adapted the hardware to enable it to process exceptionally large volumes of data at high speeds – typically up to 100 times faster than normally required in even the toughest of industrial applications.

Installed on Scuderia Ferrari engine and turbo test rigs, and using advanced SKF Observer software, the condition monitoring system provides asset protection, improved operational efficiency, preventive maintenance, and an increased speed of development.

Ing. Mattia Binotto - Power Unit Director of Scuderia Ferrari, explains, “SKF has played an important role in helping us develop the new 2015 Formula One car. The IMx solution is giving us fresh insight into how our engines perform, while the new gearbox bearings, along with specialised parts for our energy recovery and other critical on board systems, will be vital in helping us maintain a competitive advantage in the coming races.”

Jeroen Wensing, Innovation Manager SKF Racing Unit, adds, “SKF has sponsored Scuderia Ferrari since 1947, which is the longest technical partnership of its kind in F1 history. Together, we’ve always sought to push the boundaries of performance and reliability, taking the engineering knowledge gained to help our customers throughout industry with fresh ideas and constant innovation.”

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722;  Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. 

Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 12, 2015, 1:00 pm

SKF has added a new low noise bearing to its portfolio of high performance steering column bearings

Gothenburg, Sweden, 10 March 2015: SKF has developed a new customized bearing for steering columns, which exhibits significantly reduced noise levels. The pre-loaded wire steering column bearing (P-WSCB) is aimed at Tier One automotive manufacturers, and will help them to meet the low-noise specifications of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Noise reduction of vehicle sub-systems is currently a major trend in automotive manufacture. This is because quieter engines – particularly in electric or hybrid cars – no longer mask the sound from sub-systems such as steering, transmission and suspension.

Excess noise is often perceived as a failure by customers and end users, while low noise is a sign of quality and comfort. Tier Ones and OEMs are likely to have more confidence in the durability and overall performance of bearings that run more quietly.

Commenting on the new product, Andrea Griseri, Steering & Suspension Unit Manager at SKF, said: “This low noise bearing completes the portfolio of SKF steering column bearings. It reduces noise levels by around 4dB(A) compared with standard SKF bearings - and even more in comparison with competitor products. And it does this while maintaining existing high performance characteristics.”

Gaps in the wire raceway give flexibility to the bearing’s outer ring, which allows for press fit mounting into the housing. Careful design of the gap helps to reduce bearing noise. Other important design features that reduce noise include: reduced roughness of the inner ring; a change of ball quality grade; and optimization of grease quantity.

The bearing offers a better driving feel, in terms of friction torque and steering column stiffness, and helps to mitigate vibrations from the road to the driver. It supports axial and radial loads well, and provides electrical conductivity, which helps towards the smooth functioning of airbags and other electrical components.

The new bearings are expected to find use in higher specification cars, as well as electric vehicles.


Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)


For further information, please contact:

Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722; Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 10, 2015, 1:00 pm

Gothenburg, Sweden, 6 March, 2015: SKF has signed an agreement with Autopartes NAPA México to sell its vehicle aftermarket product range in their new stores which are opening later this year. 

“It is very rewarding to see our partnership with NAPA growing. With this latest agreement SKF will now distribute our assortment into NAPA stores in Mexico”, says Christer Cedervall, Director Business Unit Vehicle Service Market, SKF Automotive. “With NAPA we will reach garages through their new stores and state-of-the art distribution center in Querétaro, Mexico to offer our solutions and support for a professional repair with quality products. Our partnership with NAPA in North America has grown steadily over the years and we now look forward to see a strong development in sales in Mexico.”

“SKF's quality, assortment, range and support are what we highly value. SKF fits perfectly with our brand and what we stand for. We have been very pleased with the partnership in Canada and America and are very happy now to include the SKF brand in our offer for our stores in Mexico”, Juan Quintal Castilla, Director General of Autopartes NAPA México.

In a rapidly expanding automotive aftermarket in Mexico, SKF offers a very broad range of application coverage that fits most of the cars and light trucks in Mexico. The assortment includes premium bearings, hubs, oil seals and grease.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)


For further information, please contact:
 
Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722; Monique.Turner@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 6, 2015, 1:00 pm

Gothenburg, 5 March 2015: The SKF Annual Report 2014 – Financial, environmental and social performance is now available on www.skf.com.

This report provides a fully integrated format for the financial, environmental and social performance of the SKF Group. A printed version will be available from 17 March.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ.)



For further information, please contact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576; +46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: March 5, 2015, 7:30 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 4 March, 2015: SKF has signed a three-year strategic partnership agreement with Chinese wind power gearbox manufacturer Chongqing Gearbox Co., Ltd., strengthening the relationship between the two companies.

“We are welcoming the strategic partnership agreement since it will invigorate our already existing cooperation further. We hope for a close collaboration where we can combine our skills with goal to develop competitive solutions for the wind energy market,” says Sunny Chan, SKF Sales Director, Energy and Drives, China.

“By signing the partnership agreement our intention is to increase the collaboration with SKF in order for us to continue offering the market attractive solutions based on the best technology, service and cost,” says Ding Hui, Purchasing Director, Purchasing Director, Chongqing Gearbox Co., Ltd.

The partnership means that SKF will become Chongqing Gearbox Co., Ltd.’s main bearing supplier and provide engineering support in the development of new gearbox solutions. Recently SKF received an order of bearings worth over SEK 150 million.

Chongqing Gearbox Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and specializes in manufacturing gearboxes, couplings and dampers.

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: March 4, 2015, 12:00 pm

SKF becomes one of the first organisations to achieve ISO 50001 certification on a global scale


Gothenburg, 19 February 2015: SKF has been awarded a global certification by Den Norska Veritas (DNV), in accordance with the requirements of ISO 50001. The Group’s energy management system has been deployed across 38 manufacturing facilities around the world. In total, these facilities account for more than 90% of the Group’s total direct energy use.

“We recognize our responsibility to significantly improve energy performance, which is motivated both from an environmental and a cost perspective. The new ISO 50001 standard helps us to address this in a structured, systematic and consistent way,” says Rob Jenkinson, Director, Corporate Sustainability.

He continues, “This follows in a long tradition of early adoption when it comes to systems and tools that help improve environmental performance. We adopted the ISO 14001 environmental management standard in the 1990’s and, more recently, adopted the LEED standard for new buildings. We are also promoting the wider adoption of ISO 50001 amongst our energy intensive suppliers.”  

This forms an important part of the Group’s climate strategy, SKF BeyondZero, which aims to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain: in SKF’s operations, those of suppliers and, more importantly, for our customers.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ.)



For further information, please contact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576; +46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.


Posted: February 19, 2015, 9:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 18 February, 2015: In a recent survey among participants of SKF Distributor College, 99% of respondents claimed the courses contribute in helping customers select the most appropriate solution for their application.

SKF Distributor College is an e-learning platform for SKF Authorized Distributors. The continuing goal of SKF Distributor College is to enable distributors to be even better able to support their customers through training in the proper use of SKF products and services, as well as the critical applications in which they will be used.

SKF Distributor College has proven to be popular among distributors, with participation growing exponentially over the last couple of years and the number of completed certificates surpassing 250,000.

“I am very pleased with the continued development and usage of SKF Distributor College. Through the courses we help our distributors to serve their customers better, by sharing our knowledge”, says Ezio Miglietta, Channel & Distributor Development Director.

In addition to product courses, business and sales courses are also available. The number of courses on offer is currently 44.

E-learning brings benefits such as savings in travel costs and minimizes time away from work. Learning is not confined in space or time. A learner can access a course at any time, and choose what he/she wants to learn. SKF Distributor College also supplements local in-person training activities.

New language versions, Korean and Indonesian, are also being added enabling more distributors to complete courses in their own language. The total number of language versions now stands at 23.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

For further information, please contact:
Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70 975 million and the number of employees was 48 593. www.skf.com  

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
Posted: February 18, 2015, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 16 February 2015: Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Aktiebolaget SKF will be held at SKF Kristinedal, Byfogdegatan 4, Göteborg, Sweden, at 13.00 on Thursday, 26 March 2015. The doors are open from 11.00.  Please note that refreshments will be served, prior to the Annual General Meeting, between 11.00 and 12.30.

Annual General Meeting
For the right to participate at the meeting, shareholders must be recorded in the shareholders' register kept by Euroclear Sweden AB by Friday, 20 March 2015 and must notify the company at the latest on the same day by letter to AB SKF, c/o Computershare AB, Box 610, SE-182 16 Danderyd, Sweden, or via the company's website www.skf.com, or by phone +46 31 337 25 50 (between 09.00 and 16.00). When notifying the company, preferably in writing, this should include details of name, address, telephone number, registered shareholding and advisors, if any. Where representation is being made by proxy, the original of the proxy form shall be sent to the company before the annual general meeting. Shareholders whose shares are registered in the name of a trustee must have the shares registered temporarily in their own name in order to take part in the meeting. Any such re-registration for the purpose of establishing voting rights shall take place so that the shareholder is recorded in the shareholders’ register by Friday, 20 March 2015. This means that the shareholder should give notice of his/her wish to be included in the shareholders' register to the trustee well in advance before that date.

Agenda
1. Opening of the Annual General Meeting.
2. Election of a Chairman for the meeting.
3. Drawing up and approval of the voting list.
4. Approval of agenda.
5. Election of persons to verify the minutes.
6. Consideration of whether the meeting has been duly convened.
7. Presentation of annual report and audit report as well as consolidated accounts and audit report for the Group.
8. Address by the President.
9. Matter of adoption of the income statement and balance sheet and consolidated income statement and consolidated balance sheet.
10. Resolution regarding distribution of profits.
11. Matter of discharge of the Board members and the President from liability.
12. Determination of number of Board members and deputy members.
13. Determination of fee for the Board of Directors.
14. Election of Board members and deputy Board members including Chairman of the Board of Directors.
15. Determination of fee for the auditors.
16. The Board of Directors' proposal for a resolution on principles of remuneration for Group Management.
17. The Board of Directors' proposal for a resolution on SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015.
18. Resolution regarding Nomination Committee.

Proposal under item 10
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend for the financial year 2014 of SEK 5.50 per share. It is proposed that shareholders with holdings recorded on Monday, 30 March 2015 be entitled to receive the proposed dividend. Subject to resolution by the Annual General Meeting in accordance with this proposal, it is expected that Euroclear will distribute the dividend on Thursday, 2 April 2015.

Proposals under items 2, 12, 13, 14 and 15
The Nomination Committee formed according to a resolution of the Annual General Meeting 2014 to represent all shareholders of the company consists of, besides the Chairman of the Board of Directors, representatives of FAM, Alecta, Skandia and AFA Insurance, shareholders who together represent close to 40% of the votes of the total number of company shares. The Nomination Committee has informed the company about the following proposal: 

• that Leif Östling is elected Chairman of the Annual General Meeting;

• that the Board of Directors shall consist of eleven members and no deputy members;

• that the Board of Directors for the period up to the end of the next Annual General Meeting, receive a fee according to the following

    a) a firm allotment of SEK 7,750,000 to be distributed with SEK 1,900,000 to the Chairman of the Board of Directors and SEK 650,000 to each of the other Board members elected by      the Annual General Meeting and not employed by the company; and
   
    b) an allotment for committee work of SEK 960,000 to be distributed with SEK 220,000 to the chairman of the Audit Committee, with SEK 157,000 to each of the other members of the    Audit Committee, with SEK 126,000 to the chairman of the Remuneration Committee and with SEK 100,000 to each of the other members of the Remuneration Committee.

    A prerequisite for obtaining an allotment is that the Board member is elected by the Annual General Meeting and not employed by the company.

• re-election of the Board members Leif Östling, Lena Treschow Torell, Peter Grafoner, Lars Wedenborn, Joe Loughrey, Jouko Karvinen, Baba Kalyani, Hock Goh and Marie Bredberg. It is proposed that Nancy Gougarty and Alrik Danielson are to be newly elected. Leif Östling is proposed to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Nancy Gougarty has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from the University of Cincinnati. She is since 2013 President and Chief Operating Officer for Westport Innovations and has experience from several leading positions within TRW Automotive, 2006-2012. Alrik Danielson has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and International Economics from the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg and started with SKF in 1987 where he has had several leading positions. He was in charge of SKF’s Industrial Division and member of the Management Board, 2003-2005. He was President and CEO of Höganäs AB, 2005–2014 (a presentation of the proposed board can be found at the company’s website www.skf.com); and

• that the auditor is paid for work performed according to approved invoice.

Proposal under item 16
The Board of Directors has decided to submit the following principles of remuneration for SKF’s Group Management to the Annual General Meeting.

Group Management is defined as the President and the other members of the management team.

The Board of Directors’ proposal is that the remuneration of Group Management members shall be based on market competitive conditions and at the same time support the shareholders' best interests. The total remuneration package for a Group Management member shall primarily consist of fixed salary, variable salary, performance shares, pension benefits, conditions for notice of termination and severance pay, and other benefits such as a company car. The objective of the principles of remuneration is to ensure that the SKF Group can attract and retain the best people in order to support the SKF Group's mission and business strategy.

The fixed salary shall be at a market competitive level. Competence, responsibility and performance shall be taken into account when the fixed salary is established.

The variable salary runs according to a performance-based program and the maximum variable salary is capped at a certain percentage of the fixed annual salary varying between 40 and 70%.

The Board of Directors proposes that a decision be taken at the Annual General Meeting on SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015. The programme is proposed to cover not more than 225 senior managers and key employees in the SKF Group with an opportunity to be allotted, free of charge, SKF B shares. (See further item 17 below.)

SKF strives to establish pension plans based on defined contribution models.

A Group Management member may terminate his/her employment by giving six months' notice. In the event of termination of employment at the request of the company, employment shall cease immediately. A severance payment related to the number of years’ service shall, however, in this case be paid out, provided that it shall always be maximized to two years' fixed salary.

The Board of Directors also proposes that the Annual General Meeting resolves to authorize the Board of Directors to, in certain cases, deviate from the principles of remuneration decided by the Annual General Meeting.

Proposal under item 17

Background
At the Annual General Meeting in 2008 the SKF Group introduced a long-term performance share programme for senior managers and key employees (SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2008). Since 2008 the Annual General Meeting has resolved each year upon a performance share programme. In essence, all the previous programmes are on the same terms

SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015
The Board proposes, in order to continue to link the long-term interests of the participants and the shareholders, that a decision be taken at the Annual General Meeting 2015 on SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015.

The programme is proposed to cover not more than 225 senior managers and key employees in the SKF Group with an opportunity to be allotted, free of charge, SKF B shares in accordance with the following principal terms and guidelines.

Under the programme, not more than in total 1,000,000 SKF B shares may be allotted to not more than 225 senior managers and key employees in the Group. The number of shares that may be allotted must be related to the degree of achievement of the Total Value Added (TVA) target level, as defined by the Board, for the TVA development for the financial years 2015–2017 compared to the financial year 2014. TVA is a simplified, economic value-added model promoting greater operating profit, capital efficiency and profitable growth. TVA is the operating profit, less the pre-tax cost of capital. After the expiry of the financial year 2017 a comparison is made between the average TVA for the financial years 2015–2017 and TVA for the financial year 2014. The TVA change is expressed as a percentage.

The allocation of shares is based on the level of TVA increase. In order for allocation of shares to take place the TVA increase must exceed a certain minimum level (the threshold level). In addition to the threshold level a target level is set. Maximum allotment is awarded if the target level is reached or exceeded.

Provided that the TVA increase reaches the target level, the participants of the programme may be allotted the following maximum number of shares per person within the various key groups:

CEO and President – 30,000 shares
Other members of Group Management – 13,000 shares
Managers of large business units and similar – 4,500 shares
Other senior managers – 3,000 shares
Other key persons – 1,250 shares

If the TVA increase exceeds the threshold level for allotment of shares but the final allotment is below 5% of the target level, payment will be made in cash instead of shares, whereupon the amount of the cash payment shall correspond to the value of the shares calculated on the basis of the closing price for SKF’s B share the day before settlement.

Allotment of shares normally requires that the persons covered by the programme are employed in the SKF Group during the entire calculation period. If all the conditions included in SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015 are met, allotment of shares shall be made free of charge following the expiry of the three year calculation period, i.e. during 2018.

Before the number of shares to be allotted is finally determined, the Board shall examine whether the allotment is reasonable considering SKF’s financial results and position, the conditions on the stock market as well as other circumstances, and if not, as determined by the Board, reduce the number of shares to be awarded to the lower number of shares deemed appropriate by the Board.

The Board is furthermore entitled to introduce an alternative incentive solution for employees in countries where participation in SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015 is not appropriate. Such alternative incentive solution shall, as far as practicable, be formulated employing the same conditions as SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015.

The company has 455,351,068 shares in issue as per 31 January 2015. In order to comply with the obligations of SKF’s Performance Share Programme 2015, a maximum number of 1,000,000 B shares are required, corresponding to approximately 0.2% of the total number of outstanding shares.

Assuming maximum allocation under the Performance Share Programme 2015 and a share price of SEK 169, the cost, including social security cost, is estimated at approximately MSEK 158. On the basis of a share price of SEK 348, the cost, including social security cost, is estimated at approximately MSEK 325. In addition the administrative costs are estimated at approximately MSEK 2.

The Board does not propose for the time being to take any action to hedge the SKF Group’s obligations under the programme. Delivery of shares under the programme shall not take place until 2018.

Majority requirements
A valid resolution in respect of the Board of Directors’ proposal at the Annual General Meeting requires that the resolution be supported by shareholders with more than half of the votes cast or, in the event of a tied vote, through the Chairman exercising his casting vote.

Proposal under item 18
The Nomination Committee has informed the company that it will propose to the Annual General Meeting to resolve:

1. that the company shall have a Nomination Committee formed by one representative of each one of the four major shareholders with regard to the number of votes held as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. When constituting the Nomination Committee, the shareholdings on the last banking day in August 2015 will determine which shareholders are the largest with regard to the number of votes held. The names of the four shareholder representatives will be published as soon as they have been elected, however not later than six months before the Annual General Meeting in 2016. The Nomination Committee shall remain in office until a new Nomination Committee has been appointed;

2. in the event that the shareholder the member represents would no longer be one of the four major shareholders with regard to the number of votes held, such member, if the Nomination Committee so deems appropriate, may resign and a representative of the shareholder next in turn size-wise with regard to the number of votes held be offered the opportunity of being elected in his/her place;

and in the event that a shareholder representative no longer represents the shareholder, the shareholder is asked to elect a new representative to become a member of the Nomination


3. that the Nomination Committee is to furnish proposals on the following matters to be presented to, and resolved by, the Annual General Meeting in 2016:
    a) proposal for Chairman of the Annual General Meeting
    b) proposal for Board of Directors
    c) proposal for Chairman of the Board of Directors
    d) proposal for fee to the Board of Directors
    e) proposal for fee to the auditor
    f) proposal for a Nomination Committee ahead of the Annual General Meeting of 2017; and

4. that the Nomination Committee, when performing its duties, will fulfil the tasks that rest upon the Nomination Committee under the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance, among other things to supply the company with certain information in order to enable the company to fulfil its information obligation under the code.
_______________

Number of shares and votes, and documentation
When this notice is issued, the total number of shares in the company are 455,351,068, represented by 37,649,081 series A shares and 417,701,987 series B shares, with a total number of votes of 79,419,280. The company holds no own shares.
The Board of Directors’ complete proposal according to item 16 and 17 of the agenda and the Nomination Committee’s reasoned statement are available at the company and at the company’s homepage, www.skf.com, and will be sent to shareholders who request this and state their address.

Information at the Annual General Meeting etc.
The Board of Directors and the President shall, upon request by any shareholder and where the Board of Directors believes that it may take place without significant harm to the company, provide information in respect of any circumstances which may affect the assessment of a matter on the agenda, any circumstances which may affect the assessment of the company’s or a subsidiary’s financial position and the company’s relationship to other group companies. Anyone who wishes to dispatch questions in advance may do so to AB SKF, Att. General Counsel, SE-415 50 Göteborg, Sweden, or by e-mail: chairman@skf.com.

SKF's web-based financial report in English will be made public on 5 March 2015.

Proxy forms will be available at the company’s homepage, www.skf.com, and may also be requested by letter to AB SKF, c/o Computershare AB, Box 610, SE-182 16 Danderyd, Sweden or by phone +46 31 337 25 50.

Gothenburg in February 2015

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)

The Board of Directors

________________

Visit SKF's factory in Gamlestaden, Gothenburg
Shareholders are welcome to visit SKF's factory in Gamlestaden, Gothenburg, in connection with the Annual General Meeting, directly after the close of the Annual General Meeting, alternatively on 27 March 2015 at 09.00. Shareholders that wish to participate shall notify the requested visiting date, complete name and address to: SKF Sverige AB, Besöksservice HK3/3, 415 50 Göteborg alternatively via email to: Lars.Werner@skf.com. Please note that the number of participants is limited.



For further information, please contact:
Media Hotline: +46 31 337 2400
Press Relations: Theo Kjellberg, +46 31-337 6576; +46 725-776 576; theo.kjellberg@skf.com
Investor Relations: Marita Björk, +46 31-337 1994; +46 705-181 994; marita.bjork@skf.com



® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK 70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593. www.skf.com


Posted: February 16, 2015, 12:00 pm

Gothenburg, Sweden, 4 February, 2015: SKF, in partnership with industrial technology experts and academics from across the globe, has released a new thought leadership report focusing on the future of manufacturing and engineering. The document, entitled ‘Power the Future’, features contributions by specialists from within SKF and leading external authorities. It focuses on current and emerging trends in engineering technology and processes, and outlines how the factory, machinery and the workforce will evolve in the near future.

Power the Future will enable engineers and students to develop a greater knowledge of three main areas of interest that are predicted to become increasingly prevalent to future technology developments in a variety of key global industrial segments. The report is divided into three chapters, which focus on the evolution of the factory, the future of intelligent machine design, and the power of knowledge engineering.

The report was unveiled on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 in Berlin, Germany, at a preview event for journalists from around the world designed to give them a first glimpse of innovations due to be showcased at Motion, Drive & Automation at Hannover Messe, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for industrial technology. The Power the Future can be downloaded for free from www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

“For this report we have drawn on our many years of experience to paint a detailed picture of areas within production and manufacturing that we think will experience significant evolution in the near future,” said Bernd Stephan, Senior Vice President, Group Technology Development at SKF. “As demonstrated in these articles, technology is progressing at such a rapid pace and is increasingly influenced by developments and adoption outside the world of engineering. It is therefore essential that businesses within this sector, including SKF, continue to consistently focus efforts on research and innovation, and also identify future trends which may provide further opportunities.”

Continuing the theme of assessing key trends of the future, SKF will showcase a range of technology innovations, including a major scientific and technical breakthrough, that improve reliability and performance for operators across industry at this year’s Motion, Drive & Automation exhibition. The tradeshow takes place on 13-17 April 2015 in Hannover, Germany. Visitors will find SKF in Hall 22, at Stand B12, where SKF experts will be on hand to discuss its technology and solutions.

Find out more on www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Aktiebolaget SKF

       (publ)

For further information, please contact: 

Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 28 97; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. 


Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com


® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 5, 2015, 8:00 am
The newest SKF technology in bearing, seal and lubrication systems from SKF is designed to improve the reliability, safety and performance of jack-up gearboxes. The new solution will be shown at Hannover Messe 2015

Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 February, 2015: The latest offer of products from SKF, the knowledge engineering company, has been introduced to improve the reliability, safety and performance of jack-up gearboxes. These are used in the offshore oil and gas industry for Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, and in the renewable energy industry in the liftboats for the construction of offshore wind turbines.

The product solution includes the CARB toroidal roller bearings and SKF Explorer Spherical Roller Bearings (SRB), which have been proven in many of the most challenging applications, plus high performance seals.

Unlike the traditional bearing arrangements used in jack up gearboxes, the CARB enables an improved gear to gear contact during severe load conditions and a greater load carrying capacity. This plays an important role in extending the total system life while reducing the risk of failure.

Jonas Kjellberg, Global Segment Manager, Drives Industries, SKF explains, “Our latest offer matches the high requirement set by the the offshore sectors. It helps the OEMs and end users to extend the service life of the jack-up  gearboxes, while reducing maintenance costs through improved component reliability. For example, our upgraded SKF Explorer self-aligning bearings have been shown to double the service life over our previous generation Explorer bearings, and to improve reliability by a considerably greater factor in severe conditions when compared with products from a number of other manufacturers”.

Both CARB and spherical roller bearings feature the latest Explorer upgrade to a new generation of high performance bearing steels, manufactured using an improved heat treatment process. These bearing steels provide a superior balance between hardness and toughness, and extend wear resistance in applications with low rotational speeds, or where there are high levels of contamination.

Also available in the latest SKF offer is the HDSF2 large diameter seal, which incorporates a primary flouro-rubber sealing lip, PTFE excluder lip and chrome plated, carbon steel wear sleeve to prevent the ingress of contaminants and protect the integrity of the gearbox units. Furthermore, SKF lubrication solutions include automatic systems to keep the rack and pinion gear assembly precisely lubricated, thereby increasing productivity, reducing labor and improving safety.

The latest offers of SKF products for jack-up gearboxes will be on show at Motion, Drive & Automation at Hannover Messe 2015, and will be supported by an innovative and interactive App, showing the various products in a virtual gearbox.

For more information on SKF’s products and solutions shown at Hannover, go to www.skfpowerthefuture.com

Aktiebolaget SKF      

       (publ)

For further information, please contact: 

Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com 

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group. 

™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 5, 2015, 8:00 am

Gothenburg, 5 February 2015: At the Hannover fair, SKF will showcase a new generation of SKF Mudblock cassette seals for oil-lubricated wheel-end applications that will significantly extend seal service life compared with equivalent products in the market. The solution can reduce seal friction by up to 20%, offering off-highway customers a solution that reduces energy loss and thus increases efficiency.

The seal features a multilip cassette seal design incorporating optimized lip geometry, stainless steel counter surface and a specially formulated nitrile compound to reduce wear and aging. The combination provides a best in class sealing solution which increases bearing life by preventing the ingress of contaminants and retaining the lubricant inside the bearing, thus also minimizing environmental impact due to oil leakage.

“The main customer need that this solution addresses is increased reliability – something all off-highway OEMs strive for, as customers may gain up to 50% longer seal operating life.,” explains SKF Global Product Manager Vinay Joyappa ” With SKF Mudblock cassette seals, SKF offers value to both OEMs and end-users, thereby helping the customers to improve the asset life cycle.

The solution reduces warranty claims, increases productivity and reduces the owning and operating costs. The SKF Mudblock cassette seal comes in a wide range of sizes from 25 mm to 250 mm shaft diameter and is interchangeable with other cassette seals.

The new Mudblock cassette seal is one of many innovations SKF will showcase at this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information in hall 22, booth B 12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com.

Aktiebolaget SKF               

       (publ)

For further information, please contact:  

Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group. 

™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 5, 2015, 8:00 am
At the Hannover fair, SKF will showcase its Multilog On-line System IMx-B, the first wireless full bogie monitoring system for rail operators, enabling efficient, fleet-wide condition monitoring.

Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 February 2015: The new SKF Multilog On-line System IMx-B, the first wireless full bogie monitoring system for all types of locomotives and passenger railway vehicles, enhances service, reliable operation and train maintenance efficiency. The system offers added value by bringing a bogie wireless condition monitoring solution for easier installation to both large and small train operators who are seeking to improve service performance, train maintenance and availability and making the transition from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance for their fleets.

Vibration, temperatures and speed data are collected and processed by the SKF Multilog On-line System IMx-B Wireless from railway specific sensors on the bogie.  Intelligent capabilities built into the system recognise stable running conditions as the time to collect data and calculated values can be processed locally on the train for immediate feedback or sent wirelessly to the cloud for further remote analysis in SKF @ptitude Observer software.  This enables the maintenance department to swiftly evaluate all bogie rotative component conditions of motors, gearboxes, axleboxes and wheels.  SKF software access is flexible and can be purchased outright by the customer or utilised on a subscription basis.  Data is sent wirelessly and analysis can be made by the customer’s staff or as an outsourced service by SKF remote diagnostics center for expert analysis and reporting.

“The goal of the SKF Multilog IMx-B development was to create a bogie monitoring system that can be easily and cost effectively installed in new trains or retrofitted to existing fleets and conveniently connected to remote monitoring centres for expert analysis and maintenance purposes,” says Victor Martinez, Business Development Manager Railway Mechatronics and Condition Monitoring, SKF.

The SKF Bogie Monitoring System offers wide area network wireless/3G compatibility, and fulfils railway standards for bogie mounted electronic systems. The full Condition Monitoring capability includes SKF Acceleration Enveloping for early bearing fault detection, 16 analogue channels and compatibility with many different sensor types.  It can be retrofitted to existing trains without costly wiring overheads due to its wireless capabilities and is suitable for both high and low speed mainline trains, and metro vehicles.

The SKF Multilog Online-System IMx-B Wireless is one of a series of innovations that SKF will showcase on this year’s Hannover fair (April 13th – 17th). More information in hall 22, booth B12, and on www.skfpowerthefuture.com .

Aktiebolaget SKF

       (publ)

For further information, please contact: 

Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 28 97; +46 706 67 28 97; nia.kihlstrom@skf.com

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. 


Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 5, 2015, 8:00 am
Gothenburg, Sweden, 3 February 2015: Over 100 years ago, Sven Wingvist invented the self-aligning ball bearing and founded SKF. Since then, we have played our role in helping to reduce friction in the mechanised world, and as a result our business has grown quickly and globally to become a leader in industry. Today, we operate in 130 countries around the world, employ some 48,000 people and have an annual turnover of SEK 71 billion. All of this can be attributed in part to our focus on powering innovation: progressing our products and services, empowering our people and challenging ourselves to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Our business value across all segments in which we operate is to make sure that we keep machine shafts rotating and equipment moving over their expected lifetime. At SKF, we always continue to fine tune products and solutions to bring higher value to our customers and to make them more competitive. This emphasis on developing complete and innovative solutions helps to make machines more reliable, more energy efficient and to also reduce the total cost of ownership for our customers. However, it is also important that we focus with our customers on Asset Life Cycle Management, right from the early design phase through to remanufacturing, and finally, replacement. Therefore, we place an equally vital emphasis throughout our business on assisting our customers after installation and during operation.

Indeed, it is this emphasis on Asset Life Cycle Management that has led to some of our most ground-breaking developments. More than 30 years ago, for example, we made history by developing the bearing sub surface fatigue life calculation, which subsequently became the ISO standard throughout industry. However, as time has moved on and we have gained deeper understanding of the reasons behind bearing failure, we have applied this knowledge and technical experience to further develop this important model. The results of this development will be showcased at Hannover Messe 2015, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, however the notion of continuous improvement that this development demonstrates is evidenced throughout this report.

As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace throughout the world of engineering and beyond, it is vital that engineering businesses, including SKF, consider the implications that this will have on their products, services and business models as well as their customers at all levels: factory, machinery and workforce.

All of SKF’s new product and service development projects are based on a number of important factors, including extensive experience gathered over many years, a dedicated and efficiently trained workforce that has industry leading knowledge, and a specific intention of where and how a new product is to be used.

The forward thinking culture that we pride ourselves on is essential to remaining a market leader. This is especially true in the engineering sector, where one ground-breaking idea can change the face of a whole product market. Recognising and keeping ahead of industry trends is as much a part of successful development as anything else, which is why we have put together this report, which outlines our vision of the future for the sectors we work in.

So, why this report? Well, we have drawn on our many years of experience to paint a detailed picture of areas within production and manufacturing that we think will experience significant evolution in the near future. We have also combined our efforts with a carefully chosen selection of independent academic and objective industry experts, who have specifically contributed their expertise through a number of fascinating articles.

Through this report, readers will develop a greater knowledge of three main areas of interest that we predict will continue to grow in importance and become more prevalent in the day to day operations of industry. These topics include: The evolution of the factory; the future of intelligent machine design; and the power of knowledge engineering.

The evolution of the factory is a common topic among the engineering sector. Already, although on a tiny scale, we have begun to see the influence of technological advances - such as in the utilisation of smart devices - on factory processes. In this chapter, the factory of the future is discussed, with specific focus on how it will look, what it will do and how the technology that powers it will work.

Further to the use of smart technology, the role of the Internet of Things is potentially one of the biggest changes that the factory will experience since the introduction of automatic control of machinery. This is why in the second chapter of the report we take an in-depth look at the future of intelligent machine design and the influence of the Internet of Things and concepts such as Industry 4.0.

Last, but certainly not least, the third chapter in the report discusses the impact that the increasing reliance on IT, and the resulting data produced, will have on engineering companies and their workforces. It will also highlight the continuing need for innovation to keep up with an ever changing industry by discussing how to capture and deliver value.

By creating an environment that actively encourages improvement and development, through specific management procedures and analysis, SKF continues to lead the market in terms of innovation. Through continuing to nurture industrial activity and development, we in SKF believe we can power the future and unlock the next industrial revolution.

BIO

Bernd is Senior Vice President of Group Technology Development at SKF. He joined SKF in 1994 and has almost fifteen years’ experience of leading business units within both SKF’s industrial and automotive businesses and most recently held the position of Director of the Group’s renewable energy business unit. Bernd is experienced in engineering as well as product and manufacturing process development and holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Essen.

Bernd Stephan, Senior Vice President, SKF Group Technology Development

Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 8:05 am
AUTHOR: Professor Peter J Dobson OBE, The Queen’s College, Oxford and Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick.

There have been dramatic changes in the world of manufacturing over the last two decades, with the days and years of noisy, dirty factories that relied on out-of-date tools and working practices being consigned to the history books. Even in cases of large scale engineering manufacturing, the work-place is noticeably cleaner and better organised. These changes have largely been driven by improvements in efficiency, higher quality goods and cost reducing methods.

The question to ask now is: How will emerging technologies and advances in traditional technology alter the future shape and organisation of the factory?  With the widespread use of information and communications technology (ICT), which is creating a diverse blend of technologies and applications, attitudes to manufacturing are already shifting, including the way that the future workforce is developed and trained.

New and Emerging technologies:

The ubiquitous rise in importance and sophistication of ICT cannot go unnoticed. Processes can be monitored and controlled. Stock at both the input and output of a manufacturing process can now be tracked and the data can be used to maximise efficiency.  The machines used in factories can have their condition continuously monitored and this can, and will, have big implications for reducing the cost of maintenance and down-time. This should also reduce the possibility of human error (Dhillon 2014).

The design process itself has changed and there has been a large reduction in the number of design staff and variation in the corresponding infrastructure. This could lead to increased home-working and specialised design teams, or companies, that serve several manufacturing units. References to ‘design’ will enter the vocabulary of engineers more frequently. It will become part of more branches of engineering, which will no doubt have fairly profound effects on education at all levels.

Of the newly emerging technologies, biotechnology has been enhanced by new developments in systems and synthetic biology, followed by nanotechnology and its applications to materials, medicine, energy and other sectors. It is possible now to predict the need for a new type of factory that could possibly create and manipulate human cells.

Biotechnology has in many respects already started to have a place on the factory landscape, but it has wide variability in size and scope. While there are already large scale operations that turn biocrops into non-food products and energy, there are also small scale yet very high technology factories that create pure enzymes, proteins and biomolecules for medicine and other purposes. These activities will grow, despite public concerns about genetic modification. A common factor across these activities is the increasing importance of interdisciplinary activity and the increasing need for chemical and process engineers.

One very likely new development is the development of ‘stem cell factories’ and later, possible ‘replacement organ factories’. However, the business model for these and the way they will be organised and built is yet to be decided. The biotechnology world is very prone to contamination by unwanted microbial, viral and fungal species. Therefore good housekeeping and cleanliness is of paramount importance and most biotechnology factories are and will be characterised by very clean sterile operating conditions, along with careful containment of waste streams.

In common with many other chemical processes, such factories will endeavour to make every use of ‘waste’, including thermal and carbon dioxide for feeding into other processes in the factory. This zero waste, maximum thermal efficiency attitude is becoming embedded in the psyche of process engineers. A good example that is emerging is the use of energy harvesting from waste heat, fluid flow or vibration to provide electrical power for sensors that are now more integrated into the factory plant, often eliminating the need for a lot of cabling but making use of wireless telemetry.  

Nanotechnology has the potential to provide significant improvements and changes to materials via an incremental approach as well as to provide truly transformative action in areas such as low energy lighting, new energy storage and energy conversion, and nanomedical developments. There will be a need for a significant scale-up to occur so that nanoparticles and other nanostructures can be mass-produced under tightly controlled conditions and then incorporated into materials and products. This ‘journey’ is only just starting. We are already aware of the potential hazards of nanoparticles that might be inadvertently released into the environment or workplace, so their use will be strictly controlled and this in itself is going to lead to beneficial new ways to control waste streams emanating from future factories. Furthermore, we have to deal with the economics of introducing new nanocomposite materials even if we are aiming at incremental improvements. In most industries ‘cost is king’ is the main paradigm and the market will determine if a small benefit in performance can justify an increase in manufacturing cost. There will be a much more detailed Life Cycle Analysis of manufacturing in the future. This is becoming apparent already in the field of composites, because for such materials it is difficult to recover the original raw materials for recycling. As resources become scarce, this might even lead to new concepts of recycling factories.

Sectors where new factory concepts will be needed:

The pharmaceutical sector is likely to undergo radical changes soon. Many of the traditional methods of preparing new drugs will be retained but in order to ensure quality and keep costs down, the processes will become more automated and incorporate more instrumentation. The introduction of nanotechnology to synthesise new methods of drug delivery and diagnosis will, in particular, lead to major changes in the manufacture of products. This could be step-wise, with initially an ‘extension of life’ of existing formulations, by delivering the drug via nanoparticles or nanocapsules. This could be especially true of inhaled drugs. All such nanoparticles will also have a fairly sophisticated ‘target recognition’ surface layer to ensure they reach the right target in the body. Making the factory process do this reproducibly and in a way that will satisfy regulators is going to be challenging.

The Energy sector is going to require new manufacturing methods. Nanoparticles and many biotechnology aspects are going to become central to new methods of storing and generating energy. Most of the new battery advances rely heavily on the development of new materials to store and release charged ions. This requires the integration of new carbon-based materials that can be designed to have huge internal surfaces into such batteries. The drivers for this are not restricted to the hybrid and electric vehicle industry, but spread across energy storage generally, especially for the intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar. Nanoparticles for catalysis will also be required in increasingly sophisticated form. There is great potential for making catalysts and reactors to help convert ‘spare electrical capacity’ into gas, either hydrogen by electrolysis or photoelectrolysis of water and possibly to produce methane from carbon dioxide and water. Catalysts and new specialised reactors will also be needed for gas to liquid conversion, because, like it or not, hydrocarbon fuels are a very effective way of carrying energy.

The transport and automobile industry will be placing challenging requirements on new materials to reduce weight and yet maintain strength and integrity. Already there are changes to vehicles in switching from steel to aluminium for lightweighting and this general change may continue. The role of composites to replace steel is especially challenging because of the issue of recycling referred to earlier. The recovery of energy from what is currently waste heat in both the auto and building sectors will lead to new types of heat pumps and other energy convertors.

Training:

It is clear that there is a real and urgent need for training people for the factories of the future. There have been a number of European initiatives such as ‘Manufuture’ and the contrasting situation with the US and Japan has been nicely summarised by Mavrikios et al (2013). Global trends in this area were collated and analysed in a paper by Secundo et al (2013). This identified in particular the societal needs of preserving scarce resources, taking account of climate change and reducing poverty. They also identify the Manufuture programme and the IMS2020 programme being conducted by Europe, Japan, Korea, the USA and Switzerland which addresses all of these issues as well as addressing standardisation, innovation and the all-important aspect of competence development and education.

The UK, for example. is putting in place training at several levels. It is increasing its capacity for early stage training in skills via apprenticeships and there are new special University Technology Colleges being set up to augment some of the Colleges of Further Education. At a higher, graduate level, there are several specialised Centres for Doctoral Training. The gap at present in the UK and elsewhere is probably at the post-experience stage and the provision of courses for Continuing Professional Development. Frankly, this does need to be addressed.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has recently introduced a focussed initiative to improve training and knowledge transfer in the manufacturing area and it has created 16 new Centres for Innovative Manufacturing. This provision for research and development at the early stages of Technology Readiness Levels 1-3 adds to the new InnovateUK Catapult initiatives which cover the higher TRL levels. Currently, there are seven of these based around the country with an investment of £140M over a six year period.

One further aspect that has not been covered so far is the issue of keeping our factories of the future operational. Over the years some form of condition monitoring or preventative maintenance has been adopted, especially in the aerospace and automotive industry. As manufacturing processes become more diverse and automated there will be a need to obviate plant failure and especially human error. The issues are well described in a recent paper by Dhillon (2014).

What are the regional and national policies that are emerging to help develop the Factories of the Future?

There is a broad consensus on the answer to this and there seems to be a common purpose developing.

The European Commission has issued a document commissioned by the European Factories of the Future research Association:  ‘Factories of the Future’ which sets out a detailed roadmap for its Horizon 2020 programme. This document takes a broad look covering technical, societal and organisational aspects.

The UK Government has issued a document commissioned as part of its Foresight Future of Manufacturing project: The Factory of the Future (Ridgeway et al (2013). This document recommends:
  • More integration of supply chains
  • Closer working between industry and UK universities
  • Focus on both organisational and technical innovation
  • A ‘systems integration’ view
  • Design of reconfigurable factories and operations
  • Favourable regulatory framework for new factories, especially in the life sciences
  • A UK vision that promotes innovation and encourages networks of talent
  • Recognition that there has to be a change of culture.

There is strong evidence that regional policies for creating Factories of the Future is beginning to gain momentum. For example the concept of a modular “plug and play” approach is being applied in chemical manufacturing at the Bayer Technology Services site in Germany supported by EU funding. The large BASF chemical manufacturing site at Ludwigshafen already provides an example of fully integrated manufacturing where there is a minimum of waste materials or energy

Clearly the mission to create these future factories is now in place and we face exciting and challenging times to implement them.

References:
Mavrikios D,  Papakostas N,  Mourtzis, D, and Chryssolouris G. (2013). On industrial learning and training for the factories of the future: a conceptual, cognitive and technology framework. J.Intell. Manuf. 24, 473.

Dhillon BS. (2014). Human error in maintenance: An investigative study for factories of the future. Materials Science and Engineering. 65, 012031.

Ridgway K, Clegg CW, Williams DJ. (2013). The Factory of the Future. ISBN-13:987-0-9927172-0-9

Secundo G, Passiante G, Romano A and Moliterni P (2013) Developing the next generation of engineers for intelligent and sustainable manufacturing: A case study.  International Journal of Engineering Education 29, 248.

[END]

Peter Dobson bio

Peter is a leading expert in manufacturing, advanced materials and nanotechnology. He is currently a Principal Fellow at Warwick University’s Warwick Manufacturing Group, sitting on several EPSRC panels and committees and consulting widely for industry. From 2002 to 2013, he directed the Begbroke Science Park at Oxford University and he has set up a number of spin-off companies. Peter was awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to science and engineering in 2013 and in the same year retired from Oxford University, where he was the Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK (2009-2013).

P J Dobson, BSc, MA (Oxon), PhD, C Phys, F Inst P, Member of the ACS, FRCS.


Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 8:00 am
Smart devices are a consumer success story. Their portability and power are also helping to ‘smartify’ the manufacturing industry – and this is just the start, says Christoffer Malm, Head of Connectivity Room at SKF

Smart devices such as iPhones and tablets have created a consumer revolution. No household, it seems, is without one. Smartphones double up as personal stereos and satnavs, while tablets are used as games consoles and portable movie screens. In business too, tablets are increasingly preferred to laptops, particularly for enhancing engagement during the sales process.

Now they are spreading to the manufacturing and engineering sector, including the factory floor itself. Manufacturers are harnessing the connectivity, portability and computing power of smart devices to ‘smartify’ the engineering world and create a revolution of their own.

SKF, of course, is at the forefront of this. We have developed an infrastructure that will allow industry users – whether white or blue collar – to embed smart devices into their working practices. Whether for portable maintenance, personal instruction or simply banishing paper, smart devices are helping manufacturing companies boost their productivity.

The potential gains are enormous. We have, for example, seen productivity gains of 12% from engineering staff armed with tablets. It allows them to do their job more efficiently, while accessing and making sense of more information.

Case studies

Apple’s App Store already offers more than 30 apps developed by SKF. They have all been channelled through the company’s digital innovation catalyst team, known as Connectivity Room. Here, our engineers distil their knowledge and expertise into apps that can help both our own employees and many of our customers. All of these apps take our knowledge and translate it into software, with powerful analytics and IT algorithms processing the data. Smart devices are the window to access this underlying knowledge.

We have, for example, one major US-based customer that repairs large industrial equipment, which often comprises many thousands of components. By law, each step of the process needs to be documented. To date, this has been done with pen and paper, creating a paper trail in case of customer complaints. Now, we have developed a data collection system accessed via a phone- or tablet-based app. The huge paper archive can now be replaced by a database, which the customer can instantly access and make sense of.

Using the new system, information on components is still entered manually because they are from different suppliers. Some components will have a unique ID, while many will not. But it’s early days for this kind of system. In future, for appropriate applications, parts might be barcoded or able to broadcast a unique signal – completely removing the need for manual entry. By registering a technician’s position on the shop floor, the nature of a particular maintenance procedure, and the time it is carried out, the smart device can automatically create a log history for each part.

We have also developed a number of apps that turn phones and tablets into measuring instruments. These are being trialled at one of our Gothenburg factories to help us carry out maintenance as quickly as possible. With help from an internal positioning system (a kind of factory floor GPS), the app pinpoints the position of maintenance staff on the factory floor. When a machine develops a fault, an alarm is sent preferentially to the nearest person, ensuring the fastest possible response.

Other apps guide maintenance staff through monitoring procedures. Sensors are often connected to smart devices, turning them into measuring devices for vibration, temperature and other critical measurements. Our engineers have taken this a step further, by adding an app that tells the operator where to place the sensor – in order to get the best reading, and better results.

In similar fashion, a system called AliSensor ShaftLaser streamlines the process of alignment. Usually, when aligning, for example an electric motor with a pump or fan, a technician would traditionally carry with them a lot of heavy equipment. Now, thanks to smart devices and the minimisation of sensor technology, the equipment weighs much less. Through the guided support, visualisation and instruction provided by the app, training is heavily reduced and the understanding of what to do and when is made much more clear. 

AliSensor ShaftLaser was not developed by SKF, but by GLOi – a Swedish alignment technology specialist that we strategically acquired in September 2014. GLOi developed the integrated shaft alignment solution, based on the iOS operating platform used by iPads and iPhones. The acquisition was part of our business strategy, and illustrates our commitment to this field – and to this type of technology.

Mobile advantage

We have spent more than a year developing a Mobile Operator Support Tool (MOST), which visualises the factory production line and connects machine data in real time. MOST will transform the way that operators interact with machinery, by supplying them with the right information, at the right time and in the right place – via a customised mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.

Delivering this wealth of information exactly when it is needed will bring multiple benefits. Operators will be empowered to improve manufacturing performance, and to diagnose and make decisions close to the problem. They will be instantly aware of real time manufacturing process data, such as energy consumption and product variability – and be able to act on it.

Overall, MOST will help operators overcome many of their everyday problems, leading to greater work satisfaction and greater empowerment.

The ultimate aim of MOST is to make it as easy as possible to do the right thing. As well as delivering process data direct to operators, it will include various instructions – how to re-set machines and equipment, preventative maintenance procedures, and much more. These will now be at the operator’s fingertips, rather than in a manual somewhere.

Even if the information is in another employee’s head, it can be accessed quickly: one feature of MOST is a communications tool that allows operators and managers to text one another in order to solve problems. This feature has proved extremely effective during factory trials in Gothenburg.

From a pure business perspective, getting this connectivity through smartphones and tablets will save enormous amounts of time: we have already rolled out more than 3,500 tablets to employees and customers: each user has saved around 12% of their time every week as a direct consequence.

One of the huge benefits of smart devices is their ability to simplify data by visualising it clearly. As well as giving instant comprehension of large data sets, it could be used to give simple instructions that guide operators through a particular process, and this has already been implemented in a number of SKF’s apps (for example, AliSensor ShaftLaser for shaft alignment).

MOST can also identify the presence of humans in the factory. The heat treatment department of our Gothenburg factory is 8,500m2, which is covered by a handful of maintenance personnel. As well as pinpointing the closest operator to a particular machine to aid productivity, the smart device can act as a safety alarm. If a ‘Where are you?’ alert receives no reply, operators can quickly be tracked down – in case they have fainted, for example.

Plain sailing? 

There are obvious advantages to using smart devices in engineering, but a note of caution should be sounded. As with any kind of new technology, there are hurdles to leap before it becomes fully accepted. Because there are issues to resolve and minds to change.

Lots of data flows between these devices, which rely on WiFi or 3G. But this extra connectivity raises huge concerns about security. Adding more cloud services outside the firewall introduces a potential weak spot, and companies are keen to ensure their in-house data is not compromised.

These services will be accessed in a number of ways, such as http, https or through new standards. Password protection will be vital, but to make these services usable there needs to be a balance between tight security and ready access. If you build a fortress, nobody will use it; protect it with a single password, and the data could be at risk. In the end, it will be a careful balancing act between the two extremes.

Irrelevant of the type of technology introduced in an enterprise or to customers, it cannot by itself bring about a change in the way of working or improvements to a certain user scenario. The new technology always needs to harmonise with people and processes to be successful. To be truly effective, add value and cause a redesign of way of working or of a specific process requires a vision of what role the smart devices play. The integration and visualisation of information on those devices then becomes the true innovation. This is something that requires a lot of thought, a lot of perseverance and a lot of drive.

You also need to consider the people facilitating the process and therefore potentially using the smart device. How does the smart technology affect them? How does it change their routine and general activities? What is their level of experience of using smart devices? Questions such as these must be considered to facilitate the adoption of any new technology and to anticipate any potential resistance so that it can be proactively addressed. In some cases these issues will need to be addressed at a much higher level within an organisation, as its culture, values and general attitude at a corporate level to technology will also have a significant impact on how the technology is utilised and ultimately how much benefit it provides.

Information overload?

The  key to systems like MOST is making sense of data. Generating information is one thing; managing it is another. In order to take full advantage of this enormous new data set, it needs to be filtered and presented clearly. We’ll have top class hardware, smart devices, apps that gather and collect info, and dashboards, but much of the focus will be on maintaining and ensuring the quality of data and working out how to make sense of it.

We need to simplify data visualisation, so the complex information can be instantly understood – and acted upon – by technicians and maintenance personnel. It needs to be a simple interface with powerful data analysis.

Dealing with this data overload will be crucial. Within three years, we’ll have to look at wireless AP (access point) management, as it’s called in the IT industry, by creating an interface to integrate all the different data streams.

The goal is simple: to present the necessary information clearly, and in real time, allowing recipients of that data to act on it quickly.

At SKF, we have already come some way in our journey into mobility. With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, there is no doubt that in the not so distant future things will have moved even further.

Smart devices will increasingly become the window through which information is communicated. Today, it is done using off the shelf models like iPhones and iPads, augmented by rugged cases to make them IP68 compliant. In future, these will be tailored devices – thinner, more robust and with new features built in.

Smart devices have already proven themselves in the demanding consumer market. If the manufacturing industry were to embrace the technology with the same enthusiasm, just think where we could all be in terms of productivity.


Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 7:55 am
As environmental concerns become ever more important to engineering and manufacturing companies, forward thinking organisations can use sustainability to boost profits and business performance, as well as helping their customers and the planet, says Rob Jenkinson, Director of Corporate Sustainability, SKF

In one way or another, every stage of the manufacturing process has an impact on the environment.  This applies whether it’s the raw materials a business chooses to use, the energy used in production operations, or the way in which products are disposed of at the end of their useful life.  Although it’s  extremely challenging with current technology and global economic conditions to expect any operation to achieve 100% efficiency and net positive impact, that doesn’t mean that as manufacturers, engineers and business leaders we shouldn’t set this as a desirable goal.

Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have been around in one form or another for many years, the global financial meltdown in 2008-09 caused many organisations to postpone or cancel many of their environmental initiatives. Others however maintained their focus as they realised the potential bottom line benefits that such policies can have.  With the economy slowly recovering, this situation is now changing as more and more business leaders recognise that a strong, consistent and strategic CSR policy, which is embedded into the core values of an organisation, can deliver real and measurable value for each business, its stakeholders, employees and customers.

For companies such as SKF, sustainability has been a core business principle for many years.  It forms a key driver for innovation, covering everything from our factory and office construction, to our production processes, use of energy and water, and in the design and delivery of our products and services.

SKF BeyondZero: A new perspective

In 2006, we implemented a new strategy for actively and quantifiably reducing our environmental impact, as well as that of our customers and suppliers. This strategy, named SKF BeyondZero, has become a critical part of our DNA, consisting of two complementary goals. The first is to reduce the negative environmental impact from our own operations and those of our suppliers. The second is to innovate and offer our customers new technologies, products and services that enable them to reduce energy use and waste.

Over the years, as a result of applied research and development in the area of environmental life cycle management, we have acquired a much broader understanding of the environmental performance of our activities, products and solutions. We have learnt about the environmental impact our activities have at the different stages of the value chain; everything from the raw materials selected, how these are utilised and processed, the energy used by SKF products when used in customers’ applications and what happens to the products after the end of life.This has made us realise that environmental impacts can be reduced in every stage of the value chain and that the greatest potential is found in the use phase – the way in which our products and solutions perform in each customer’s application.

Manufacturing efficiency

In practice, we have been taking significant steps over a number of years to improve our own manufacturing operations.  All new factories and logistics centres, wherever they are in the world are built to the latest LEED building standards and the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard.  We have also been working with our key suppliers to help them meet similar levels of environmental responsibility and to reduce the level of energy used in, for example, the energy intensive steel manufacturing process.

In logistics we have been working with our transport partners to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.  This includes contractual fuel consumption limitations for road logistics service providers, the decreased use of air freight, a high truck fill rate and involvement in the Clean Shipping programme.

The impact of these initiatives has been considerable.  Between 2006 and 2013, when our global sales grew by 20%, we reduced our energy requirements by 13% and our total greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, from our own operations by a similar figure.

Product lifecycle management

A key component of the SKF BeyondZero concept is management of the life cycle of a product, from initial development to final disposal.  Various studies have shown that many products have the greatest environmental impact during their use in customer applications; in terms of total life cycle carbon emissions, this can be as much as 75%.

SKF products that fall within our SKF BeyondZero portfolio, which is growing fast, have to meet tough criteria to ensure that they deliver real environmental benefits to each customer, without affecting product performance, quality or reliability in service.  These criteria fall into two categories:
  • Designed for environment: the product or solution has to provide environmental benefits in its own right through some inherent characteristics, such as low friction or weight saving
  • Applied for environment: the product or solution must demonstrably help to improve the environmental performance of the customer application in which it is used

Typical examples of SKF BeyondZero portfolio products and solutions include energy efficient high-speed permanent magnet motors for use with aeration blowers in wastewater treatment plants. These can reduce energy use by up to 40%, providing both commercial and environmental advantages.  Similarly, SKF Sealed Energy Efficient (E2) deep groove ball bearings significantly reduce frictional movement, leading to potential energy savings; although these may be relatively modest for each bearing, when the cumulative impact over time of replacing all bearings used in industrial motors, pumps and fans is considered then these savings can be considerable.  Other developments include the fully-sealed SKF ConRo roll line unit for use in continuous casting operations in the steel industry; this can reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 1.5 tons per roll line per year.

Becoming smart

The increasingly rapid move towards smart factories, where intelligent devices such as SKF Insight bearings, are used in sophisticated control and automation networks, will inevitably have a major impact on sustainability in the manufacturing sector.  In the short term, the ability to smartify production operations will reduce energy and water use, and extend machine life to reduce scrap or waste still further.  Longer term, the acquired data and experiences from running smart systems will help companies develop a new generation of manufacturing tools and processes, and may also impact the design and construction of both premises and production lines.  In each case there will be the opportunity to re-engineer existing systems to meet the challenges of ever better sustainability in an increasingly tough and competitive global environment.

Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ)


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

em>™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 7:53 am
AUTHORS: Professor Detlef Zühlke, Dr. Dominic Gorecky and Stefanie Fischer, Innovative Factory Systems department at the German Research Centre

Under pressure of globalisation, our industry will undergo a period of major challenges including shorter product life cycles, highly customised products and stiff competition from various markets around the world. These challenges are already evident in today's mobile phone market. Product life cycles have decreased to around six-nine months, while functionalities and also complexity of products have steadily increased.

A comparable development is currently taking place in other sectors, such as the automobile industry. With products becoming more complex and the product life cycle more limited, computer-aided technologies (CAx) continue to grow in importance during the production ramp-up optimisation and acceleration period. Although the advancement of CAx during the past ten years has enhanced flexibility in the design and planning phases, a similar breakthrough is still anticipated in the actual manufacturing phase. A high product variability aligned with shortened product life cycle requires an agile and flexible production structure, which can be rapidly reconfigured for new product demands. This degree of flexibility cannot be achieved by traditional automation. Instead, modular factory structures composed of smart devices – the so-called 'Cyber-Physical Systems' (CPS) – that are part of the 'Internet of Things' network, are key elements in enabling adaptable production scenarios that can both address and overcome current challenges.


Over the last ten years, we have witnessed a fundamental transformation in our daily life with the emergence and growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Computers are becoming so small they seem to vanish inside nearly all of our technical devices. Beyond all of this, things communicate in a world-wide network: The Internet.

When we contemplate following this path into the future, we find that nearly all the everyday things will become smart nodes within a global network. This phenomenon is called the 'Internet of Things' (IoT); a trend that will almost certainly find its way into industrial production. The strong bias of the electro-technical and hierarchical world of factory automation will transition to smart factory networks, which increasingly benefit from the advances in ICT and computer sciences. In Germany, a major debate on the fourth Industrial Revolution or, in shorthand, 'Industry 4.0' has started.

Interest has continuously grown since the introduction of this term in April 2011 by Kagermann/Lukas/Wahlster (2011 – Reference 1). Under the impetus of a working group formed from experts in the scientific and business communities, a vision has been developed for German industry and provided in the form of recommendations to the federal government. As a result, a research program has been established, with funding of approximately 200 million euros over the next few years. Furthermore, the three major German industry associations (VDMA, ZVEI, and BitKom) have joined forces to create a shared platform to facilitate the coordination of all Industry 4.0 activities.

These actions have contributed to a general hype, which has been promoted mainly via media channels. However, there is also a genuine interest on the part of the manufacturing industries to achieve the sustainable success of this vision. Germany is a high-tech nation and generates a large portion of its gross domestic product (GDP) from the manufacture of goods as well as from the required production equipment. The following section presents the fundamental challenges and changes anticipated in the vision of Industry 4.0.

The vision of Industry 4.0

A distinguishing feature of the new technological environment is the transition to mechatronic systems. Electronics will be a fundamental component of future products, while hardware will be increasingly standardised. The major features determining the functionalities will be created by the software. In this way traditional machine elements are transformed to mechatronic systems. A function can be implemented by mechanics, electronics, or software. The design and production as well as the service therefore require an interdisciplinary team, combining competencies in mechanical, electrical and software engineering.

Smart objects 

The key driver for the Industry 4.0 vision is the 'Internet of Things' (IoT). In this vision, all factory ‘objects’ will have a unique IP address and be integrated into networks. The technical term coined for such an object is a ‘Cyber-Physical-System’ (CPS) (2012 – Reference 2). The traditional production hierarchy will be replaced by a decentralised self-organisation enabled by CPS in the factories of the future. Plant sections and production processes will become so independent and flexible that even the smallest batch can be produced under conditions of rapid product changeover and any number of options.

The machine-to-machine communication enables commands to be issued by the individual machines, for example, to transport a raw product or to use a specific manufacturing service. The product’s semantic memory dynamically controls its manufacturing process and therefore allows decentralised mass production at batch ‘1’.

Many of these smart elements will be mobile and linked together over wireless networks; which implies losing vital positioning data that was implicitly delivered to us by the ‘end of cable’ in the old hard wired systems (compare Figure 1). This is especially critical in the area of plant operations. An employee that uses a mobile operating device such as a smart phone, can no longer be located in a specific position. The user may be somewhere on the shop floor, but could also be in the cafeteria. The application must take into account the current position of the employee in order to decipher whether a functionality is currently supported or not. To solve this dilemma, not only indoor location systems with comparable features to GPS will be required, but new rules and methods for the design of context sensitive human-machine interfaces must be found that enable a decoupling of the hardware and operating software currently in use.

Figure 1: Smart objects – Mobile, modular and decentralised.

New communication architectures

Today's factories follow a strict, hierarchical information structure. At the upper layers, we find the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which is installed above the plant control systems (MES and NC/PLC). At the lowest layer, the sensor and actuator systems of the plant, the so-called field devices. Although, in recent years these layers have been increasingly integrated with one another; the major system integration has taken place in the horizontal direction, not the vertical. A network of CPS will inevitably require a new approach to architectures. The common pyramid-like structures characterised by strong horizontal networking as well as weak vertical communication will be replaced by a domain-oriented network structure, which in principle, enables any number of paths across all information layers of the factory.

Plant systems built on the principles of IoT and CPS will make today's PLC systems superfluous, because each end device will communicate with every other even if located at a different layer. The specification of process logic (also known as orchestration) will take place in the network, not in a dedicated control element.

New programming paradigms

Today, program controls turn for the most part on the hardware structures that are generally based on rules and standards that are 20 or more years old. In the future world of networked self-organising CPS, hardware and control logic must be strictly separated. Several paradigms already exist in this respect. For example, the service-oriented architectures (SoA) or the multi-agent architectures (MAS).

Both approaches encapsulate and abstract the hardware functionality and contain mechanisms for self-organising systems. Furthermore, a series of programming models already exist that permit the specification of control logic or orchestration. However, such approaches require a high degree of knowledge in computer sciences, which complicates the implementation at shop floor level by people not trained in this area of expertise. In this respect, the migration of such architecture paradigms from the upper factory layer where they are already partially deployed, through the mid-layer MES systems is the most promising path, which also takes into consideration the technical backgrounds of the personnel involved.

In today's production planning and control process, the control system design comes at the end of the planning phase as it relies on the results of the mechanical and electrical designs. The programming of the logic controls does not begin until the control terminals are selected and it is decided how these are to be wired. Abstraction concepts like SoA can be useful in severing the relationship with the initial implementation hardware and to create reusable software components.

Establishing a new engineering workflow is necessary to provide the hardware independent, functional, and top-down planning approach required. The traditional planning domains have to be more closely integrated, especially in the early planning phases, in order to provide alignment later on in the planning process. Systems engineering approaches can help to support the interdisciplinary tasks, as successfully demonstrated in the aerospace technology sector.

Creating a transparent presentation is therefore a challenge due to the complexity of the planning results and the interrelationships among the associated disciplines. This will require practical procedures for an incremental, model-based engineering strategy to be achieved, as well as the appropriate modeling languages, data formats, and tool chains.

The goal for future smart factories must be the removal of the media gap between the CAx/PLM environments and the actual functioning plant. The PLM tool needs to possess the capability to generate complete system descriptions, which can convert directly into executable control services. The code must then enable both simulation of a virtual plant as well as the set-up and operation of the actual plant.

Standards

As described in the basic model, the strict separation of hardware and functionality can only be successful if based on standards. A CPS element must be built in a similar style, at least in terms of information technology, as a LEGO building block. In other words, the element must communicate on the basis of standards at all layers of the ISO/OSI 7-layer model. At least the transport layers 1-4 already rely on many established standards such as the various IEEE 802.xx or Internet Protocol IP standards; the respective standards for the application-based layers 5-7 will only arrive under massive market pressures. It’s evident that no manufacturer is attracted by the idea of turning its products into interchangeable LEGO blocks. The current debate on a standard process in the area of industrial wireless networks (e.g., ISA100) or the device description specification language (e.g., FDT) indicates both resistance and a conflict of interests. At least there appears to be a promising implementation approach with OPC UA for layers 5-6 that more and more manufacturers and users are willing to accept.

Security

A distinguishing feature of future factory control systems is the use of IP-based networks at all layers. This facilitates the import of data from a field device to the higher level ERP system without any problems. However, this can put the factory at risk to ever more powerful cyber-attacks through the use of open protocols. STUXNET and other malicious software (malware) make it absolutely clear the threat is a real one. A CPS-based production environment can ultimately be implemented successfully only if the high standard of security and trust in this technology comes from within the business. This demands not just technological solutions, but perhaps more importantly, organisational measures. A definitive answer to the security question will be a key subject along the way and requires proposals from industry, research, and government.

What is the immediate future going to look like?

It is predicted that this version of the Industry 4.0 vision will find its way into future production environments in around 10 to 15 years. In respect to all the questions that need to be answered and to all the research work that needs to be done, it will still take time until such holistic manufacturing scenarios are universally implemented and accepted in our industries.

Consequently, first elements and first objects, suitable to the vision, will travel along an evolutionary road before finding their way into practical usage. The availability of information in high resolution and the reduction of media gaps constitute the foundation to enable versatile, transparent production environments. Already available auto-ID technologies can help to track elements and represent them in the digital world. Mobile devices such as laptops, tablet-PCs or SmartGlasses provide immediate access to enterprise knowledge from almost everywhere and anywhere – within the business and beyond. Accordingly, decisions and actions can be based on comprehensive and accurate information and reactions will be faster, supported by smart assistance systems, as shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: Mobile devices and smart assistance systems in the immediate-future of production.

The technology initiative SmartFactoryKL – as a manufacturer-independent demonstration and research platform – has already taken a huge step towards the Industry 4.0 vision by developing and deploying solutions which enable flexible production structures, addressing the current industrial challenges. Within its network of more than 30 industrial partners, the SmartFactoryKL tests and develops innovative information and communications technologies and their application in a realistic, industrial production environment. Within the latest project, a ground-breaking production line was developed in a joint effort with industrial key partners (see Figure 3). The production line is completely modular and allows a plug-and-play integration of new manufacturing modules. The plug-and-play functionality is achieved on the basis of a set of mechanical, electronic and information technical standards defined by the SmartFactoryKL and its partners.

Figure 3:    Demonstration plant for future production in the SmartFactoryKL .

Outlook

No technological revolution has ever been initiated in haste. More often the upheavals take place over a period of several decades in an evolutionary transition driven by advances in multiple technical areas (technology-push), but also as a result of new market demands (market-pull). It is highly likely that the current movement towards Industry 4.0 will have a similar evolutionary aspect lasting several decades. A positive aspect is that Industry 4.0 is providing a clear vision which both manufacturer and end-user can successfully adapt to. The scientific insights of the IT environment are being closely linked to the requirements of the production environment. This demands the interdisciplinary cooperation of traditionally separate disciplines.

Human beings, however, will be the most important factor in this transition process. If the three previous revolutions are analysed, it is evident that human needs and living standards have been the main driving force behind the changes. When these requirements meet the right technological boundary conditions, it seems to result in fertile fields for innovative changes. Since the third Industrial Revolution, more commonly known as the Digital Revolution, many innovative technologies as well as political changes have influenced the way people live with one another. Characteristic examples include the ending of the Cold War, the opening of global markets – especially China´s – together with technological progress (for example, the Internet and smart devices).

Humans not only have the important role of technology driver, but also the role of the driven. Modern ICT leads to a sharp acceleration in all business processes, and does so in a global context. Offers to supply production plants and services can be sent around the world in seconds, while global syndicates can instantaneously be formed to supply solutions. More efficient and integrated logistics systems on land, sea, and air can deliver goods to customers in much shorter times. In order to succeed in the competitive global environment, production systems need agility and the ability to transition rapidly. This will be made possible by the advances in ICT. People will need to plan, implement, and operate ever more quickly in this new systems environment. Only those nations of the world that manage to adjust the training and education of their citizens in a timely manner to the new realities will be successful within the global marketplace.

Europe is in a good position in this respect. The EU is among the world's leaders in the fields of research concerning networked embedded systems, semantic technologies, and the design of complex cyber-physical systems. Herein lies a great opportunity for the European industries to take a technological quantum leap and master the challenges of the global market.

References

1. Kagermann, H., Lukas, W., Wahlster, W. (2011). Industrie 4.0: Mit dem Internet der Dinge auf dem Weg zur 4. industriellen Revolution, VDI-Nachrichten.
2. Geisberger, E., Broy, M. (2012). Integrierte Forschungsagenda Cyber-Physical Systems, Acatech Studie, Berlin.
3. Zuehlke, D. (2010). SmartFactory – Towards a Factory-of-Things, In: IFAC Annual Reviews in Control, Volume 34, Issue 1, ISSN 1367-5788


[END]


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Detlef Zühlke

Detlef Zühlke is director of the Innovative Factory Systems department at the German Research Centre (DFKI-IFS) for artificial Intelligence in Kaiserslautern. He is also the initiator and chairman of the executive board of SmartFactoryKL and holds the chair for production automation at the University of Kaiserslautern.

Dr.-Ing. Dominic Gorecky
Dominic Gorecky is a senior researcher and the deputy head of DFKI-IFS. In his role, he is responsible for the scientific management and strategic coordination of the department.

M. Sc. Stefanie Fischer
Stefanie Fischer is researcher and head of communications of the SmartFactory. In this role, she works on different projects and is responsible for marketing and communications.


Aktiebolaget SKF
     (publ)


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.
™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 7:50 am

Revolutionary intelligent bearings technology will underpin the creation of intelligent machines, says Filippo Zingariello, Director of Global Strategic Development at SKF. 

Defining an intelligent machine is no easy task. In the early days of computing, it was thought to be a computer whose answers to questions were indistinguishable from those of a human being. In this sense, the word ‘machine’ was taken to mean ‘computer’. If you search for ‘intelligent machine’ on Google, you’ll still find lots of futuristic work in this vein.

The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical terms defines it like this: ‘A machine that uses sensors to monitor the environment and adjust its actions to accomplish specific tasks in the face of uncertainty and variability’. Cited examples include industrial robots equipped with sensors and self-guiding vehicles that rely on vision rather than painted lines.

Within engineering, we think of an intelligent machine as a mechanical system that can take care of itself: a machine capable of accurate self-diagnosis that can quickly communicate its condition to an operator so that the problem can be resolved as soon as possible. It could be anything from a high-end car to a complex machine on a factory floor. This is the subtext to ‘uncertainty and variability’: as well as reacting to changes in its environment, an intelligent machine must look after itself, so that it can continue to work at maximum efficiency.

This is not to suggest that an intelligent machine is maintenance-free – that really is a futuristic dream – but it uses its in-built intelligence to detect potential problems and streamline maintenance intervals and procedures. All mechanical parts are prone to failure, of course. The trick is to detect this proactively, as part of a planned condition monitoring regime, and take action in advance, rather than waiting for the machine to fail and then spending time and money repairing it.

Intelligent machines will rely on several critical factors. The most important, by a long way, is information. Without data, there can be no intelligence or diagnosis. This data needs to be gathered, transmitted for analysis, and processed, which, in turn, requires sensors, data transmission and computing power. At SKF, we already have extensive experience in all these areas, and are ready to take it to the next level.

SKF Insight introduction

The immediate answer might at first simply appear to be enhanced condition monitoring, adding an array of sensors to a machine in order to read its vital signs, then transmit them over WiFi to a central point. But a far more effective solution now exists in the shape of SKF Insight: it collects and transmits process data independently from inside the very heart of a machine using a fundamental engineering component: the bearing.

SKF Insight turns a simple bearing into a diagnostic powerhouse, by embedding into it a tiny, self-powered wireless sensor that transmits real-time information about process conditions. It takes condition monitoring far beyond what was previously possible. The technology, launched at Hanover in 2013, required three years of intensive research, including making the sensors smaller, overcoming power generation challenges and developing unique packaging for the sensors and electronics.

Conventional condition monitoring detects the early signs of failure by measuring vibrations caused by changes on the bearing’s surface. But this means that damage has already begun to occur. Rather than identifying this deterioration, SKF Insight detects the conditions that cause bearing failure before they can have an effect, and makes this information instantly available to operators.

Miniature electronic circuits, powered by the motion of the bearing itself, transmit this process data via a wireless link. There is no need to supply external power. This makes the technology supremely unobtrusive, because there are no wires ‘in’ to provide power, or wires ‘out’ to deliver the signal. This means it will work in places that would previously have been impossible. Just imagine trying to take signals out of a rotating gearbox, for example: it would be a complete mess, with entangled wires everywhere. With SKF Insight, signals can be taken from anywhere, and we are already developing solutions in challenging applications in wind turbines and steel manufacturing.

We developed SKF Insight because we know that bearings rarely fail in service under normal operating conditions due factors such as subsurface fatigue. Instead, the cause of failure is usually misuse or neglect: insufficient lubrication, for example, or running the bearing under conditions outside those originally specified. Insight’s embedded sensor measures the critical parameters that cause early bearing failure, such as lubricant contamination, or temperature, allowing operators to take corrective action while the machinery is still operating. The direct result is that expensive, disruptive failures are avoided, which reduces the total cost of asset ownership and extends machine operating life.  It also makes it simpler for engineers to gain a far more detailed appreciation of the varied causes that can affect the calculation of bearing life.

By applying sensors directly within the bearing, SKF Insight identifies the risk of failure before even microscopic damage occurs.

SKF algorithms and diagnostics can identify duty excursions, lubricant contamination and lubrication problems, allowing operating conditions to be modified, and so avoid damage before it occurs.

By integrating SKF Insight with asset diagnostic and bearing health services, we can send information on actual operating conditions to cloud servers for remote diagnostics, enabling a better understanding of the risk of future damage and failure.

Rethinking maintenance

SKF Insight gives maintenance engineers a powerful new tool to keep machinery in prime condition, giving them capabilities way beyond traditional condition monitoring. It means that maintenance can be carried out at exactly the right time (we can even call it “adaptive maintenance”), rather than being guided by a strict schedule that is unrelated to the actual condition of the machinery or its components.

The intelligent wireless technology inside the bearing allows bearings to be configured in smart networks, which communicate via wireless gateways. The gateway can be local to the machine or to the plant.

System information is provided to the customer for analysis using SKF @ptitude Analyst, or sent via the SKF cloud to a remote diagnostic centre. From here, dashboards and reports can be supplied to the plant operator, machine manufacturer, SKF or any other authorised person with internet access. The inclusion of SKF in the list of ‘recipients’ is an important one, as its assistance in gathering and interpreting the data will be vital thanks to the deep bearing and machine knowledge existing in SKF.

Because the bearings are self-contained they can be used right in the heart of a machine, where it was previously impossible to embed sensors. This is a huge step forward in real time condition based maintenance, and provides a vastly improved understanding of the operating environment. Having such a deep knowledge of operating conditions – in real time – could even make it possible to upgrade a machine, extending its life or power rating beyond its initial specification.

The sensors communicate through each other, and the wireless gateway, to create a ‘mesh network’, providing both machine-wide and plant-wide information.

SKF Insight makes condition monitoring more widely applicable, especially where it might previously have been considered impossible. Because of this, it is being tested in industries including wind power, rail and steel manufacture.

Tough conditions

SKF Insight also offers huge potential benefits to industries like wind energy, where the cost of maintenance is astronomical. In some offshore wind applications, changing the main bearing on a wind turbine is so expensive that it undermines the business case for building the turbine in the first place. Used here, intelligent bearings could monitor loads and lubrication conditions in service, giving plenty of time to prevent the development of damaging process conditions.

We are already working with customers to develop SKF Insight for wind turbine monitoring. It measures dynamic bearing information in the true operating state, then wirelessly communicates it to remote monitoring centres or local maintenance crews. The solution being considered will monitor bearing speed, vibration, temperature and lubrication. Most importantly, it can be retro-fitted, so could enhance the operational potential of both new turbines and the many thousands that are already in operation worldwide.

A similar solution, further in the future, is being developed for wheel end bearings in the rail segment. These critical components are normally changed at set intervals, regardless of their condition. SKF Insight creates a cost effective way of collecting condition monitoring data so that service bearing life, and change-out intervals, are determined based on actual, rather than predicted, operating conditions.

The ability to monitor and transmit information on operating conditions will bring about a revolution in bearings, in terms of maintenance planning, total cost of ownership and maximising machine efficiency. Bearings have long been considered the heart of rotating machinery. Now, by imbuing them with intelligence, SKF Insight makes them the brain as well. It goes beyond traditional condition monitoring, into what might be called ‘future reliability’ – identifying potential problems before they occur, and taking immediate corrective action.

SKF Insight is already being put to work in high-end applications such as wind turbines. But consider the machine that we spend most of our time with: the car. Think about all the problems that could be avoided with this kind of advance intelligence, and you can see why the technology embodied within SKF Insight is truly a revolution – joining both bearings and condition monitoring.


Aktiebolaget SKF
      (publ) 


SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401. www.skf.com


™ BeyondZero is a trademark of the SKF Group.
® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

Posted: February 4, 2015, 7:46 am