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 the formulae covered in this and other sections of the website, to the most sophisticated calculation and simulation systems, running on parallel computers.
SKF has developed 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 customers to use on their computers. Moreover, particular care is taken to provide integration and interoperability of the different systems with each other.

Calculation tools available online

Easy-to-use tools for bearing selection and calculation are available on this website (→ SKF Bearing Calculator). Bearing searches are available based on designation or dimensions, and simple bearing arrangements can be evaluated as well.
SKF’s interactive engineering tools make it possible to generate drawings of bearings and housings that can be used in most commercially available CAD programs.

SKF SimPro Expert

SKF SimPro Expert is the mainstream bearing application program used by SKF engineers to find the best solution for customers’ bearing-shaft-housing systems. Working in a virtual environment, SKF engineers combine mechanical systems containing shafts, gears and housings with a precise bearing model for an in-depth analysis of the system’s behaviour. The program can also analyze rolling fatigue in a bearing using the SKF rating life method. SKF SimPro Expert is the result of years of research and development within SKF.


The numerical tool Orpheus is used to study and optimize the dynamic behaviour of noise and vibration-critical bearing applications, such as electric motors, gearboxes. The program is also used to solve complete non-linear equations of motion for a bearing arrangement and the surrounding components, such as gears, shafts and housings.
Orpheus can provide a profound understanding of the dynamic behaviour of an application, including the bearings, accounting for form deviations (waviness) and misalignment. This enables SKF engineers to determine the most suitable bearing type and size as well as the corresponding mounting and preload 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 service 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.
SKF engineers also use commercial packages to perform, for example, 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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