In the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, the aircraft engines of the future, and countless machines in the industrial arena. SKF’s bearings are crucial elements in products and production systems around the world. Fredrik Hallström is Manager applications engineering Industrial Market Sweden, and he is passionate about finding smart solutions to customers’ problems.
The company began when Sven Wingquist invented the spherical ball bearing to get the machines at Gamlestaden textile mill to work better. Today, more than 100 years later, Aktiebolaget Svenska Kullagerfabriken has grown into a global player with almost 50,000 employees, and is known by its abbreviated form SKF.
“We have long experience and are constantly amassing new knowledge from our customers in a wide range of industries worldwide. This means we can draw parallels and find smart solutions across industry boundaries,” Fredrik explains.
Entire systems and constructions
Over the years the company’s offering has expanded from the first ball bearings, and today SKF offers products, solutions and services in five areas: rolling bearings, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems. So customers don’t only get a bearing or a component, but an entire system.
“We can help trace the fault if the customer has a problem, but we can also look at other, better solutions. We use advanced calculation programs and discuss all kinds of matters in consultation. We genuinely do have a passion for solving problems.”
Next generation aircraft engine
The very best results are often achieved when the application engineer is brought in at an early stage of the development process, says Fredrik.
“Many customers turn to us for technical design, calculation, testing and simulation of the construction’s characteristics. For example, we’re involved in developing the next generation aircraft engines, LEAP, destined for the Airbus 320, Boeing 373 and others. Our contribution has been manufacturing technology, technical design and testing of main shafts and gearbox bearings.”
8.8 tonne bearings
Fredrik also talks about the two specially designed spherical rolling bearings SKF has manufactured for the world’s largest Ferris wheel.
“The bearings weigh 8.8 tonnes each. A construction that can cope with the strains in the enormous wheel called for advanced modelling and simulation. The Ferris wheel is 168 metres high and can take more than 1,100 passengers at a time. Needless to say, it’s in Las Vegas. Where else?”
Customer’s engineers are important
SKF has been exhibiting at Elmia Subcontractor for many years, and will be here again in the autumn.
“It’s an important fair for our business and our customers. We do like to meet managers and buyers, but we’re also very happy to talk to the engineers behind the products. After all, they’re the ones who can really see the benefits of different technical solutions. And we know that we’ll find them at Elmia Subcontractor.”