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The Digitalization of Bearing (Predictive) Maintenance

It’s fascinating to see the latest developments and achievements in the field IOT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0, which is transforming the classical industrial approaches in a new era of possibilities. For the bearing application, the further digitalization means more precise implementation of predictive maintenance. Apart from the past, maintenance techniques are today designed to help determine the condition of in-service equipment to predict when maintenance should be performed.

This is currently nothing new, “condition monitoring” is already implemented for a while. What is new however, is the information that can now be extracted from condition monitoring systems. With the aid of intelligent software, the data acquired in real time allows the operator to carry out a service or replace worn bearing (or other components) at precisely the right time – with no fixed service interval, and before the bearing in question fails. For the bearings, these reference variables are mainly the vibration, temperature and revolutions per minute. These are continuously monitored and analyzed so that any irregularities can be detected and their effect on the life of the bearing calculated. At the same time, any bearing that is running hot can be identified by temperature monitoring. This allows an increased reliability in critical applications such as wind turbines, rail vehicles, energy, mining and aerospace. The system itself can perform the analysis and the condition of the bearing can be checked from anywhere in the world via the Internet; similarly, the remaining life of the bearing can be calculated based on the actual load spectra.

We tried to figure out in this edition of the BearingNEWS magazine how the digitalization will result in the further development of the SMART bearing, which is expected to elevate the performance limits; easier to maintain; optimized for the specific application and improve the energy efficiency in applications. 2017 will have 2 key industrial events which will focus more in depth in the digitalization of bearings predictive maintenance. The first key event is the – Hannover Messe MDA show – which will take place from 24-28 April and the – Bearing Reliability Conference & Expo -, which will be held in Dortmund on 10-12 October 2017.

Further in this issue, we have ‘a BearingNEWS classic’ three exclusive interviews with the leaders of bearing and power transmission organizations in the industry. The first interview is with Mr. Steve Quintijn, the Marketing / Product Manager for Rollway, McGill and Sealmaster at Regal Beloit in the Power Transmission Solutions business segment.

Our second interview is with Mr. Jiří Přášil, the Executive Director of ZKL Bearing CZ, a.s. an East-European bearing manufacturer with 70 years’ experience in production of roller bearings. We tried to reveal the story of his company during this interview.

The third interview is with Mr. Bruno Grandjean, the President of the Federation of the Mechanics Industries in France. He shares in this interview his thoughts about innovation, creativity and industrial cooperation in Europe.

What’s Rolling..

What’s rolling in the bearing industry? A brief summary of what happened during the last six months in the bearing industry; the exhibitions, event & conference agenda for 2017; various case studies on bearing applications, use of ultrasound to improve lubrication practices, slow speed bearing monitoring, and Top20 tips for bearing reliability by Per Arnold Elgqvist…Together with all these interesting topics, many other bearing industry related articles, insights and developments can be discovered in this February issue of the BearingNEWS magazine.

160 pages full of BearingNEWS, We hope you will enjoy it.

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