Motion Control & Drives


SKF bares the truth about bearings

Technews Industry Guide: Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation 2020 Motion Control & Drives

The sub-Saharan African bearing market holds vast untapped potential and SKF South Africa is optimistic about the growth opportunities on the sub-continent. With an extensive bearing portfolio that incorporates the latest technology and premium materials and components, the global bearings and rotating technology specialist remains eager to share its knowledge and state-of-the-art solutions with customers.

“We remain committed to developing and fine tuning our bearing suite in order to remain in step with 4IR as well as our customers’ widely diverse requirements,” states Chris Lubbe, engineering manager at SKF South Africa. “Placing digitalisation at the forefront of design, we integrate a wide variety of technologies into our offerings.”

Bearings are critical components; their failure can result in other component failure, leading to costly downtime and equipment repair or replacement. Lubbe points out that with advanced technologies packed into the bearings, the importance of correct equipment care is more crucial than ever to ensure optimal machine performance, reliability, availability and extended lifespan. Alongside accurate seating, fitment and alignment, appropriate maintenance and lubrication as well as equipment monitoring are also essential. “In a nutshell, if you treat your bearings right, the entire operation, from start to finish, will run smoothly and the benefits will reflect in your bottom line,” he adds.

Condition monitoring

Customers do not always have skilled onsite employees to identify problems or run maintenance checks. Understanding the cost and time implications that all these challenges place on customers, SKF offers a wide selection of products such as auto-lubrication, dismounting and alignment tools to streamline this process.

Taking it a step further, SKF’s advanced condition monitoring systems enable customers to view their equipment’s machine health (remotely 24/7), check if units are operating correctly and detect issues such as primary bearing defects, velocity vibrations and temperature problems. Bringing together bearings (the hardware) and system monitoring performance (the software), condition monitoring systems assist customers to identify faults so that they can be timeously dealt with to prevent costly machine damage and extended operational downtime. Furthermore, this smart software allows the SKF team round-the-clock access to information presented as a detailed analysis, enabling staff to notify and guide customers to problems so that repairs can be done during planned maintenance.

Lubbe points out that as condition-based maintenance is often reserved for only the most critical assets, SKF’s Multilog IMX range brings condition monitoring to applications that would previously have been out of reach. Available in 8, 16 and 32 channels, this flexible system can be applied across a broad spectrum of applications and industries.

Closing the loop, SKF provides full customer training, from basic bearings and maintenance to vibration analysis, at its BINDT-accredited training centre in Boksburg.

Optimal equipment performance can be attributed to a number of factors e.g. world-class manufacturing, correct product selection and installation and technologically advanced online condition monitoring systems all supported by exceptional service from trained and skilled technicians. “We can say with confidence that as a single-source supplier offering a turnkey solutions portfolio, SKF holds the competitive edge in the market,” concludes Lubbe. “And for our customers and end-users, this means enhanced productivity and production leading to low total cost of ownership and sustainable profitability.”


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