I agree, bobjengr. The smart bearings are amazing, and serve as a great example of how traditional mechanical products can benefit from the addition of electronics. This is one more example of why future mechanical engineers need a cross-disciplinary education.
Very interesting post Lauren. I am blown away be the SKF information. This is truly forward thinking on their part. One of the components of my job is to quantify component MTTF (mean time to failure) and MTBF (mean time between failure). These bearings would be great indicators of bearing "status" and provide huge value-added for maintenance personnel and manufacturing engineers. Again--excellent post.
Laure, interesting section. I feel it's good to introduce new interesting products atleast once in a month through blogs. It will be helpful for our community members, so that they can be get familiarized with the latest products in market.
I agree, this is impressive, but I would be more impressed if SKF had included even one image of the actual hardware so we could get a feel for size and volume necessary to accomodate it. The link to SKF offers no additional information unforunately.
Especially impressed by the forward-looking bearing monitoring. From the article, microscopic bearing damage can be detected immediately as it occurs (instead of being detected after bearing damage escalates into vibration and temperature issues). I would imagine that many mission-critical applications could use this new technology to improve bearing performance, reliability and up-time.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.