The drive technology industry cannot move toward the future without (rolling) bearings. The 200 domestic and international participants from science and industry who were able to attend the premiere of the only international scientific conference dedicated to bearings were able to experience this first hand. The core topics of reliability and efficiency were the focus of the event, which was organized by FVA (the German research association for drive technology, Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V.) and Professor Gerhard Poll of Leibniz Universität, Hannover.
Frankfurt am Main/Hanover, 14 April, 2016: FVA hosted BEARING WORLD, the first ever international conference dedicated to bearings, which took place April 12 and 13 in Hanover under the motto “Industrial Research and Science in Dialogue with Practical Application.” The expert conference was well received by the more than 200 participants from 11 countries. With the international conference, FVA charted new territory in two ways. First, FVA expanded its conference offerings to include an additional topic: bearings. Secondly, with BEARING WORLD, FVA has presented itself to an international stage. Thus far, FVA has been successful on a national level with conferences dedicated to gear production (GETPRO), lubrication (GETLUB), simulation (SIMPEP), and electromobility (E-MOTIVE).
International Cooperation in Research and Development is Essential
FVA’s internationalisation follows the logic of the market and, consequently, the needs of researchers and developers in industry and science. With regard to the international rolling bearing market, Dr. Arbogast Grunau, Head of Corporate R&D Competence and Services, Schaeffler AG and Chairman of the FVA Management Board, stated: “A global market means that we should also think globally. This is an invitation for international collaboration in research and development. This applies to companies as well as scientific institutions. BEARING WORLD is our response to this requirement.”
High-Quality Presentations from International Experts
The conference offered a comprehensive overview of the current state of technology, research, and development in the field of rolling bearings. Rolling bearings were the focus of this year’s conference, but other bearing concepts will also be included in the future. The conference featured keynotes from high-profile experts, who provided insight into future challenges for bearing manufacturers. Innovative concepts, white etching cracks (WEC), tribology and efficiency, and damage diagnosis and avoidance were the main topics of the event. Around a quarter of the 28 presentations of current research findings from scientific research institutions and company research departments were contributed by experts from abroad. All presentations and discussions were simultaneously translated into German and English.
Research Needed to Meet Major Challenges for the Bearings of the Future
In his keynote, Bernd Stephan, Senior Vice President of Group Technology Development, SKF Group, addressed the question of whether bearings constitute standard goods or high-technology products: “Rolling bearings are very complex machine elements. Rolling contact as an essential function of rolling bearings has not yet been fully researched. There is also great progress to be made in the tribological system between rolling bearings and lubricants. New materials such as special steels and ceramic rolling
bodies open completely new dimensions. In this context, we are certainly dealing with a high-tech product.”
Digitisation also plays an important role for rolling bearings, which affects all business areas. Regarding the challenges in rolling bearing development, Rainer Eidloth, Senior Vice President Bearings-Components Development at Schaeffler AG, stated: “In the digital world, for example within the context of Industry 4.0, connected information and data is a key foundation. As a core component, bearings are predestined to gather and communicate relevant drivetrain parameters. The challenge is now to connect rolling bearings and sensors in such a way that the data is useful for OEM’s and customers in a standard format.”
On the importance of rolling bearings in the drivetrains of the future, Dr. Tobias Lösche-ter Horst, General Manager of Powertrain Research, Volkswagen AG, said: “The drivetrains in future automotive applications will continue to make very specific demands of rolling bearings, for example in terms of dynamics, temperature behaviour, and space. Rolling bearings will continue to be central machine elements.”
Bernhard Hagemann, acting managing director of FVA, was very satisfied with the premiere of Bearing World: “It is very important for the FVA research community and for users in the industry to network internationally and to receive ideas from around the world. The high number of participants at our premiere is proof of the great interest in the international format and the contents of the event. We are extremely satisfied with the start and will continue on the path of internationalisation. We are looking forward to the next BEARING WORLD, here in Germany or abroad.”
FVA (Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V.) is the world’s largest and most successful research and innovation network dedicated to drive technology. Since 1967, industrial developers and scientific researchers have worked together on pre-competitive fundamental issues in the field of drive technology. This form of industrial collective research forms the basis for product innovations for more than 200 FVA members.
Prof. Gerhard Poll, Leibniz Universität Hannover (Pilar © FVA)
Dr. Arbogast Grunau, Schaeffler AG/FVA (Pilar © FVA)
Bernd Stephan, SKF Group (Pilar © FVA)
Rainer Eidloth, Schaeffler AG (Pilar © FVA)
Tobias Lösche-ter-Horst, Volkswagen AG (Pilar © FVA)
Bernhard Hagemann, FVA (Pilar © FVA)
BEARING WORLD – Conference Centre (Pilar © FVA)
Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V.
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