SKF calculation tools

SKF possesses one of the most comprehensive and powerful sets of modelling and simulation packages in the bearing industry. They range from easy-to-use tools based on SKF General Catalogue formulae to the most sophisticated calculation and simulation systems, running on parallel computers.
The company's philosophy is to develop a range of programs to satisfy a number of customer requirements; from fairly simple design checks, through moderately complex investigations, to the most advanced simulations for bearing and machine design. Wherever possible these programs are available for in-the-field use on customers' or SKF engineers' laptops, desk top PCs or workstations. Moreover, particular care is taken to provide integration and interoperability of the different systems with each other.

SKF Bearing Calculator

The SKF Bearing Calculator is an easy-to-use tool for bearing selection and calculation. Bearing searches are available based on designation, dimensions, design and performance. Several calculations are available.

SKF Bearing Beacon

SKF Bearing Beacon is the new mainstream bearing application program used by SKF engineers to find the best solution for customers' bearing arrangements. The program is the successor of BEACON and its technology allows the modelling in a 3D graphic environment of flexible systems incorporating customer components. SKF bearing beacon combines the ability to model generic mechanical systems (using also shafts, gears, housings etc.) with a precise bearing model for an in-depth analysis of the system behaviour in a virtual environment. It also performs bearing rolling fatigue evaluation using the SKF rating life in particular. SKF bearing beacon is the result of several years of specific research and development within SKF.


The numerical tool Orpheus enables studying and optimizing the dynamic behaviour of noise and vibration critical bearing applications (e.g. electric motors, gearboxes). It can be used to solve the complete non-linear equations of motion of a set of bearings and their surrounding components, including gears, shafts and housings.
It can provide profound understanding of and advice on the dynamic behaviour of an application, including the bearings, accounting for form deviations (waviness) and mounting errors (misalignment). This enables SKF engineers to determine the most suitable bearing type and size as well as the corresponding mounting and pre-load conditions for a given application.


BEAST is a simulation program that enables SKF engineers to simulate the detailed dynamics inside a bearing. It can be seen as a virtual test rig performing detailed studies of forces, moments etc. inside a bearing under virtually any load condition. This enables the "testing" of new concepts and designs in a shorter time and with more information gained compared with traditional physical testing.

Other programs

In addition to the above-mentioned programs, SKF has developed dedicated computer programs that enable SKF scientists to provide customers with bearings having an optimized bearing surface finish to extend bearing life under severe operating conditions. These programs can calculate the lubricant film thickness in elasto-hydrodynamically lubricated contacts. In addition, the local film thickness resulting from the deformation of the three dimensional surface topography inside such contacts is calculated in detail and the consequent reduction of bearing fatigue life.
In order to complete the necessary capabilities for their tasks, SKF engineers use commercial packages to perform e.g. finite element or generic system dynamics analyses. These tools are integrated with the SKF proprietary systems enabling a faster and more robust connection with customer data and models.
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