SKF Insight Offers Wireless Technology for Condition Monitoring

SKF Insight enables bearings to communicate their operating conditions continuously, with internally powered sensors and data acquisition...
April 29, 2013—SKF Insight enables bearings to communicate their operating conditions continuously, with internally powered sensors and data acquisition electronics. Bearings have long been considered the heart of rotating machinery, now SKF makes them the brain as well. “These innovations are set to revolutionize condition monitoring for bearings, especially in critical machinery and technically challenging applications. SKF Insight technology will make condition monitoring more widely available, especially in applications where it was previously impossible or impractical,” says Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO. “With our integrated diagnostic technology, our customers can get even better control over the life cycle of their machinery, leading to lower total costs with higher reliability and machinery uptime.”

SKF Senior Vice President, Group Technology Development, Alan Begg adds, “Three years ago we had a vision to create an integrated, self-powered sensor package that could wirelessly communicate the condition of a bearing at any time – making a smart bearing capable of sending a message when something happens to it. Following extensive R&D work, including miniaturization, solving power generation challenges and developing unique packaging of sensors and electronics, the introduction of SKF Insight technology makes this a reality. Making the bearing the brain, as well as the heart of rotating machinery has long been a dream of the engineering community, and I am proud that SKF, with our long tradition of innovation leadership, is the first to make this happen.”

Prior to SKF Insight, condition monitoring techniques could only monitor damage after it has occurred. Now, by sensing directly on the bearing, SKF is able to monitor the damage from the first microscopic effect as it is happening, and with this information, customers can take remedial action to reduce the reason for damage in the bearing – adding lubricant, mitigating transient overloads, etc.

In addition, by monitoring the load directly on the bearing, SKF Insight makes it possible to measure the load the bearing actually experiences rather than what is was designed for. This valuable information can be routed back into the design phase to improve both the system and bearing design. With SKF Insight technology integrated into bearings, it is simpler and more convenient for customers to enter into condition monitoring activities. Better operational knowledge, better maintenance planning, optimized manpower and spare part management, will lead to lower cost of operations. Check out the June issue of Power Transmission Engineering for more information on SKF Insight.