Bearing damage is inevitable, given the fact that machines and equipment generally operate in extremely harsh environments. In addition to wear, corrosion, indentations and micro-cracks, there are also particular application conditions such as contamination or sporadic metal–to-metal contact in the rolling contact zone that can cause damage to bearings. As a result, a bearing’s service life is often shorter than its calculated rating life. Bearing failures can cause machines to break down. Unplanned stoppages and subsequent production halts to allow for replacements or repairs have costly implications in terms of time, resources, maintenance and parts.
The objective is therefore to prolong bearing life and SKF, as a global market leader and specialist in rotating technology, has the solution. We recommend the application of a controlled remanufacturing process before any major damage or bearing failure occurs. Cost-benefit analysis shows that bearing remanufacture can deliver significant cost savings, depending on bearing size, complexity, bearing condition and price. The remanufacturing approach can substantially prolong bearing service life which will increase machine uptime and availability, reduce maintenance costs and lead times. Bottom line, customers will benefit from improved overall asset reliability and ultimately total life cycle costs.
And there are environmental benefits too. Depending on the amount of remanufacturing required, up to 90% less energy is needed to remanufacture a bearing instead of manufacturing a new one. SKF’s remanufacturing services further help to reduce environmental impact through responsible bearing cleaning and waste handling. Given these multiple benefits, the argument for taking the remanufacturing route is extremely strong.
SKF’s bearings remanufacturing service is underpinned by its new bearings manufacturing standard, processes, equipment, quality assurance, knowledge and competencies. We are able to remanufacture a number of different bearings including large size bearings (LSBs), CARB and spherical roller bearings (SRBs) used in continuous caster lines, backing bearings as well as slewing bearings. Our industrial bearing remanufacturing services extend to all major brands used in industries such as MMPC (Metals, Mining, Mineral processing and Cement), Renewable and Traditional Energy, Pulp & Paper and Marine.
In order to achieve the optimum balance of a long service life and low operating costs, two critical factors must be considered; the severity of the bearing damage to determine if remanufacturing is possible and the correct timing for bearing removal and remanufacturing. Experienced bearing analysts at SKF’s professional bearing remanufacturing services evaluate customers’ bearings and define which remanufacturing process will be the most efficient for restoring the bearings to ensure compatibility with the application requirements. All our remanufacturing centres around the world have highly trained teams with special competencies.
Through SKF’s remanufacturing processes, relevant functional surfaces are remanufactured, including, if necessary, the replacement of bearing components. In addition to standard remanufacturing, SKF’s expertise extends to the remanufacture of bearings to a new or higher specification. This can include mounting sensors and the provision of other enhancements such as integrated lubrication, coating, sealing solutions and rework to other specifications.
An advanced SKF-developed management system provides full traceability. Each asset is uniquely marked during the remanufacturing process, enabling customers to conveniently trace their bearing through its future life cycle.
SKF also offers a number of value adding services to help customers reap the full benefits of their remanufacturing program. Our predictive maintenance expertise will help to prevent recurring damage by ensuring that customers know the status of their plant machinery at all times. Added to this, SKF’s root cause failure analysis (RCFA) service can deliver a set of causes and effects as well as a comprehensive plan of corrective actions to prevent the recurrence of damages.
Reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of rotating equipment, over an agreed period, is or should be the overall objective to ensure an operation’s profitability. Savings are gained from increased machine availability as well as from reducing capital outlay by extending component and machine life, optimising the spare parts inventory and minimising waste.
SKF Rotation For Life (RFL) is a long-term, performance-based contract that combines bearing technology, failure detectability, reliability and remanufacturing services into one integrated package. For a monthly fee, instead of purchasing bearings on unit price, the programme enables a customer to evolve from a capital expenditure model to an operational model (CAPEX to OPEX). To achieve the programme goals, SKF combines its extensive bearing knowledge, application engineering expertise and rotating equipment reliability with enablers such as condition monitoring, RCFA, bearing remanufacturing and other core SKF capabilities, providing a single-source solution.
SKF’s bearing remanufacturing network is present in most parts of the world and is continuously being expanded with the opening of new service centres. Operating as a global network allows the sharing of knowledge, specific spare parts procurement and capability development to the ultimate benefit of our customers. As a result, we can offer our customers the agility and flexibility of a small company, supported by the capacities, core competencies and peace of mind that only a global industry leader like SKF can offer.