SKF’s redesigned ‘generation 4’ SG Spindles Increase Service Life Exponentially for Key Customer in Steel Manufacturing Industry

2014 August 15, 09:55 Africa

The redesign of a Slab Grinding (SG) Spindle by SKF South Africa for a key customer in the steel manufacturing industry has led to the development of the ‘generation 4’ SG Spindle that offers an exponential increase in service life with numerous associated cost and time saving benefits for the customer.


“As the name implies, spindles are used to grind slabs in the manufacturing of stainless steel slabs,” says Andre van Loggerenberg, SKF Junior Project Engineer. “Our customer reported a number of problems on all 13 of their SG Spindles related to reliability, running accuracy, oil leakage, operating temperatures and service life which was causing costly downtime.”


“Oursolution consisted of a redesign of one of the SG Spindles which included the fitment of SKF Ultra High Precision Bearings to improve accuracy during operation, the improvement of the sealing arrangements to reduce oil leakage and the balancing of rotating components to reduce vibration and improve bearing life,” explains Van Loggerenberg.


The redesigned ± 970mm long, + 400mm wide and + 380mm high SG Spindle which weighs approximately 400kg and runs at an operating speed of 3000rpm, was subjected to thorough trial tests at SKF’s state-of-the-art facility in Witfield, Boksburg, to ensure that the required operating temperatures and vibration levels are not exceeded.


Following very successful test results, SKF replaced all the customer’s older spindles with the redesigned ‘generation 4’ spindles which deliver a host of cost saving benefits to the steel manufacturer. “Substantial improvements in product performance and reliability as well as running accuracy has increased our customer’s uptime and production while reduced oil leakage prevents damage to the end product.” Van Loggerenberg adds that operating temperatures were also reduced to accommodate the high ambient running temperatures. 


Adding value for the customer and building strong, long-term customer relationships are of primary importance to SKF. “The steel manufacturer is a key customer of SKF authorised distributor,Bearing Services Middelburg. Working together with Bearing Services Middelburg, we were ableto provide a fast, effective and seamless solution that met all our customer’s requirements and ultimately strengthened the customer relationship.” Van Loggerenberg also stresses the importance of SKF’s relationship with its authorised distributor network, “who takes our products and services to the customer, irrespective of how remote the location is.”


In closing, Van Loggerenberg says,“The success of this project presents SKF with a strong foundation for the supply of similar ‘generation 4’ SG Spindle solutions to customers in the future.”

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