Shaft power components


Bearing speeds up product development

First Quarter 2020 Shaft power components

SKF has released the world’s first commercial load sensing bearing based on its proprietary fibre optic sensing technology. This streamlines the creation of rotating products such as pumps, using angular contact ball bearings, and enables real-time measurement of bearing loads using fibre optic sensing.

The load sensing bearing for pumps and compressors takes the guesswork out of product development, helping to speed up the design and verification process by giving instant access to a variety of bearing data. This includes axial vs. radial loads, polar lots of the bearing´s internal strain field, strain spectra, load directions, speed of rotations and temperature.

The bearings, which are interchangeable with conventional bearings, offer several benefits to designers and test engineers, including optimised design, lower development costs, shorter design cycle and the ability to digitalise the design and verification process.

OEMs and end-users can use the tool when testing and installing new equipment, to check that the correct load and lubrication requirements have been defined and are not exceeded in the real installation. The load sensing bearing gives access to data that has been very difficult to access so far because it takes accurate strain measurements directly within the bearing.

The new sensing bearings are safe to use in hazardous environments as signal data is transferred at high speeds by low power in optical fibres rather than as electrical signals, making the system also immune to electromagnetic fields. It also enables robust remote monitoring where wireless technology cannot be used as the optical fibres can transmit signals over very long distances.

For more information contact Samantha Joubert, SKF South Africa, +27 11 821 3500, samantha.joubert@skf.com, www.skf.com


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