SKF to expand focus
SKF revealed that it intends to expand its image as a leader in bearing technology to the “knowledge engineering company.” In addition to this statement, the company also announced several new services and product lines including its e-maintenance initiative and made-to-order bearings.
The e-maintenance, SKF’s Web-enabled monitoring system and maintenance processes, is a solution for companies seeking to establish a world-class and cost-effective condition-based machine monitoring program. According to Scott Brady, SKF’s Director of Product marketing, users can realize increased machine reliability, uptime and overall profitability without large infrastructure investments.
The e-maintenance process integrates Internet technology with SKF Machine Analyst data management and analysis software; the @ptitude Industrial Decision Support system; and any of the SKF portable online condition monitoring systems.
The system allows for data on machinery conditions at one or more facilities to be collected by a company’s designated technician or by an automated system and then uploaded easily and accurately to a remote Web server for trending and analysis by SKF reliability engineers. Reports and/or work order requests are generated for recommended action and dispatched to all relevant sites.
Benefits of e-maintenance include the 24/7 capability to monitor equipment and upload data for analysis to the SKF Diagnostics Center around-the-clock; the centralized data repository accessible to management and staff regardless of their locations; more timely data on machine conditions; and minimized investment further eliminating any need for typically redundant hardware, software, and manpower.
The technology is ideal for mobile applications, such as the railway, mining and shipping industries and for unmanned, remote locations such as wind farms and pumping stations.
SKF also announced its Made-To-Order (MTO) program, which is available through MRC Bearing Services. MTO specializes in custom ball bearing products and manufacturing and rework/modification capabilities. MTO resources offer high levels of dedicated technical expertise and application support typically unavailable from small machine shops or rework facilities.
MTO specialists can help identify and source discontinued, hard-to-find, or special ball bearing products in virtually all design configurations and size ranges. Product solutions can be engineered to remedy difficult applications, insufficient bearing service life or poor performance. Particular lubrication, material or design requirements can be accommodated.
Capabilities in manufacture and rework/modification can be tapped to resize or otherwise re-engineer ball bearing bores, OD, faces, and widths; add or remove seals/shields; replace cage materials; apply high-performance coatings; incorporate heat treatment; and re-lubricate ball bearings using special greases, custom fills, or solid oil.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey