State of the Industry 2019

Keith Weiss, senior vice president, SKF Industrial Sales, USA and Canada, spoke with the Pumps & Systems editorial staff for the January state of the industry issue.

For more state of the industry coverage, click here.

What is the next big thing for bearings?

SKF recently announced that it is developing a fiber optics bearing solution together with the Hexatronic Group, a manufacturer of fiber optic network solutions typically for telecom companies and sensing solutions for industrial use.

Fiber optic sensing allows customers to measure bearing loads, speed and temperatures in real time. With this technology, bearings become process and quality control instruments, in addition to supporting the shaft. This technology can be used by engineers to design better and more optimized machines, and improve a customer’s bearing selection and design. We also see great potential in using real time load data for process control and optimization to improve energy efficiency or run machines so failures can be avoided. Fiber optic sensing can provide both SKF and our customers with truly unique information about their machinery and its operation centered around the bearing.

Is your company putting programs in place to attract young employees? To hold on to retirement-age employees?

Our talent platform is designed to meet the needs of our employees at every stage of career. For example, our trainee program gives new graduates an immersive experience in preparing for their Engineering careers at SKF. Additional learning platforms are offered to the advantage of all employees as they develop across their career lifecycle. We encourage job rotations, mentoring, and shared learning projects, in order to actively re-recruit our talent throughout their tenure with us.