SKF Insight®

Next generation condition monitoring

Bearings have long been considered the heart of rotating machinery. SKF Insight makes them the brain as well. Enabled by self-powered, wireless sensors integrated in the bearing or housing, SKF Insight monitors bearing performance in real time, 24/7.

First, dynamic bearing operating conditions – load, speed, vibration, lubrication and temperature – are sent to the SKF Cloud. Customers can connect directly to SKF Remote Diagnostic Services for condition monitoring support and dashboards. SKF reliability experts can also analyze the data and generate reports that give customers the earliest possible warning of conditions that could eventually cause costly bearing damage.

Applying real-time insights worldwide

Launched at Hannover 2013 as a technology innovation, SKF Insight is now a fully functioning solution running in customer pilots in the wind and railway industries.

SKF Insight can offer real benefits to customers in the wind industry. Wind turbine operators face many challenges while trying to boost turbine performance and profitability. Especially when it comes to maintenance, where in some cases, the cost of changing the main bearing on a wind turbine can be very expensive. SKF is working with a wind turbine customer and has an SKF Insight solution in trials that monitors dynamic load, speed, vibration, temperature and lubrication conditions in service, giving operators visibility of how dynamic conditions are affecting the bearing, and enabling them to better manage the operations of the turbine and plan their maintenance. View testimonial video here.

SKF is also running a pilot project in the railway sector for wheel end bearings –  critical components that are usually changed at set intervals, regardless of their condition. With SKF Insight, railway operators can cost-effectively collect condition-monitoring data so that bearing life and change-out intervals can be based on real operating conditions. View testimonial video here.

Bearing Health Management - a vision for the future

Real-life operating conditions can sometimes exceed those for which the bearing was designed, potentially damaging the bearing. In the past, condition monitoring could only monitor bearing damage after it had occurred.

Bearing Health Management is a new innovation currently under development by SKF. This takes data from an SKF Insight-enabled bearing and seeks to determine how real-time operating conditions affect bearing health, and how automated actions, such as applying additional lubricant, can help avoid bearing damage before it occurs, and maximise the useful life of the bearing. 

With this new approach, customers can now see how real-time operating conditions impact bearing health and remaining bearing life – even from environments where traditional condition monitoring is not practical, or possible. This breakthrough technology is enabling an adaptive approach to maintenance – Bearing Health Management.

Bottom line? Using bearings with SKF Insight technology and applying Bearing Health Management will make it simpler and more convenient for customers to conduct condition monitoring and increase reliability, simplify maintenance, extend bearing life and cut total life cycle costs.

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