The responsibility of SKF’s project engineering team is to support upgrades and new installations while the customs design team looks at bearing housing and seal modifications. The condition monitoring engineers lend supports to SKF’s condition monitoring experts on system implementation such as SKF’s IMx Multi-Log online system, a compact, easy-to-use machine health monitoring system that provides remotely accessible machine health data in real time.

SKF has also employed four young trainee engineers who, according to Lubbe, are already proving their worth and adding value through their new and refreshing approaches. “They sometimes make us look at things from a different perspective and to tackle challenges in exciting new ways to find premium solutions.”

Lubbe adds that there have already been a number of successful developments including a fully portable IMx datalogger designed and built by graduates with Master degrees in vibration analysis to support SKF’s Rotating equipment Performance (REP) offering.

The engineering team is also exploring the use of Teflon coatings for plummer blocks subjected to acidic conditions and severe corrosion. Lubbe explains that they are currently developing a prototype of an acid-proof housing that relies on SKF’s triple-barrier sealing solution. In addition to a smoothed housing surface to prevent any build-up of acidic slurry, all exposed surfaces are manufactured or coated with SKF’s acid resistant engineering plastics, E-ECOPUR and Teflon.

SKF’s triple-barrier sealing solution has inner seal protection from the sealed spherical roller bearing itself which is installed in a housing with a 70 to 90% grease fill that completely isolates it from the sealed bearing to form the second barrier. Additionally, the acid-proof housing is sealed from outside contamination using a Taconite multi-stage labyrinth cartridge seal which forms the third barrier.

Wrapping up, Lubbe says, “The amplification of SKF’s engineering services will be an ongoing drive that reflects the significance we place on offering life-time services to our customers. In addition to a premium product, SKF customers can rely on world-class service and after-sales service support across the entire life-span of the equipment from highly trained, highly skilled engineering teams. We are excited about the future as we partner with our customers to assist them in improving the efficiencies, productivity and indeed the profitability of their businesses.”