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Laid bare: the high-tech truth about bearings

Home Engineering Motors Laid bare: the high-tech truth about bearings

THE Sub-Sahara African bearing market holds vast untapped potential and SKF South Africa is highly optimistic about the growth opportunities on the sub-continent. That’s according to the global bearings and rotating technology’s SA Engineering Manager, Chris Lubbe.

“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. Placing digitalisation at the forefront of design, we integrate a wide host of technologies into our offerings.”

Lubbe that bearings are critical components; their failure can result in other component failure, leading to costly downtime, equipment repair or replacement.

He added that with advanced technologies packed into the bearings, the importance of correct equipment care is more crucial than ever before 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 said the company was mindful of the fact that 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 24/7 remotely view their equipment’s machine health, 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 swiftly identify faults so that it 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 them to notify and guide the customer to problems so that repairs can be done during planned maintenance.”

Lubbe said 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.

“We can say with confidence that as a single-source supplier offering a turnkey solutions portfolio, SKF holds the competitive edge in the market. And for our customers and end-users, this means enhanced productivity and production leading to lowest total cost of ownership and sustainable profitability.”

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