SKF on a clear path towards a circular economy, helping customers achieve economic and environmental sustainability goals

Ever-increasing global demand, driven amongst other factors, by an accelerating population growth, places business and industry under extreme pressure to produce more. They also face ever-stringent environmental regulations to counter the subsequent enormous stress that increased production places on the planet’s climate and finite resources. This conflict between economic growth and environmental protection is simply not sustainable. 


Businesses therefore have to calibrate increased production against decreasing operating costs and environmental compliancy. The global focus is shifting to a circular economy where economic growth and environmental protection can exist harmoniously side-by-side. SKF leaves no stone unturned in developing solutions across its product, system, technology, engineering and service portfolio to assist customers in achieving their economic and environmental sustainability goals. With over 100 years of experience, SKF is a global leader in the development, design and manufacture of superior quality bearings, seals, lubrication systems and related cutting-edge technologies. SKF’s capabilities also extend to machine health assessment (condition monitoring), reliability engineering and remanufacturing. The company’s greatest strength is its ability to keep developing new technologies and redesigning applications and value-adding solutions for customers while at the same time contributing to a sustainable global society. 

Machine efficiency and reliability are the sustainability game changers. So SKF is helping customers to create machines that last longer, consume fewer parts and produce more through innovative designs, superior quality products, advanced technologies and monitoring and analyses systems. 

SKF is the only engineering company that develops both bearings and seals. Quality seals are fundamental to optimum bearing and system performance. Extending the reliability and lifecycle of these components can make all the difference to the performance of critical rotating equipment.  State-of-the-art technology combined with experience and craftsmanship enable SKF to customise seals to almost any specifications. SKF SEAL JET machines produce custom machined polymer seals, in low as well as high quantities. 

SKF also leads the market in reducing, reusing and recycling. The company’s connected lubrication systems, condition monitoring, data analytics and machine learning, enable SKF engineers to optimise bearing selection, increase mean time between failures (MTBF) and use the right type and quantity of lubrication. Prolonged component and system lifetime leads to a significant reduction of parts and energy consumption. Condition monitoring and data analytics also enable the removal of a bearing before it fails. Thanks to SKF’s specialist Remanufacturing capabilities, bearings are not replaced but rather given a new life and reused, keeping customers’ costs down and reducing lead times as well as material consumption. Moreover, bearings not eligible for remanufacture can be recycled to produce new bearings, effectively closing the loop. SKF’s remanufactured bearings and units conform to the same geometric, form and quality specifications as new SKF bearings and units. Remanufactured components also carry a six months warranty, testament to the high quality and reliability of these products. 

Lubricant contamination is a main cause of premature equipment failure and considering that virtually all industrial machines use oil or grease as a lubricant, proper lubrication management is critical. Another sobering fact is that most of the approximately 19 million tons of oil used annually for industrial lubricants is largely used only once. This inefficient and unsustainable way of using a valuable, non-renewable resource is hindering plant owners in implementing financially and environmentally sound lubrication management systems. Taking the circular approach one step further, SKF introduces its new patented Double Separation Technology (DST) for industrial oil regeneration. By capturing impurities all the way down to nano-sized particles and separating them from the oil, this state-of-the-art process technology enables the recovery and reuse of oils with all their original properties retained. In fact, DST treated oils have shown to actually outlive their original estimated life span by more than 30 times! This sustainable solution from SKF is truly a circular use of oil. By consolidating development and innovation efforts across its entire portfolio, SKF is on a sustainable path towards a circular economy where economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. This is ultimately to the benefit of customers, industry as a whole, but eventually the environment and our blue planet. This approach also aligns with SKF’s strategy of always being able to adapt to an ever-changing industrial environment to offer customers sustainable, future-proof solutions. 


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