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Keeping wind turbines spinning – Why artificial intelligence alone is not enough

The goal of every operator is to get the best out of their wind turbine. But the methods it takes to reach that singular goal are many. That's where SKF Rotating Equipment Performance comes in – a tailor-made service for your needs.

Wind turbines wearing out prematurely, unplanned standstills – frequently, it’s the little things that lie behind these big problems. Whether it is slight decreases in the performance of a bearing, or lubrication systems that dispense the wrong amount of lubricant, one thing is clear: If the rotary system is not running smoothly, neither is the wind turbine. For that exact reason, it is important to keep bearings in top conditions and able to carry out their duty reliably. Naturally, they will, nonetheless, eventually wear out. And then, if not before, the wind turbine will no longer be capable of delivering full performance. 

Even with well-functioning bearings, just a few small adjustments can be made to dramatically improve performance. Finding these crucial areas that can make all the difference isn’t easy, but SKF Rotating Equipment Performance is committed to that very goal. 

So, what is SKF Rotating Equipment Performance? 

SKF Rotating Equipment Performance is the umbrella term for a range of SKF services that help companies better manage risks, increase reliability, and prevent downtime. The goals are extensive: reduce maintenance costs, increase product quality and machine availability, lengthen equipment service life, optimize equipment efficiency, and make improvements to both planning and processes. 

The linchpin here is continuous, digital condition monitoring. But this alone is not enough, as such technology functions primarily as a supplement to pre-existing expert knowledge. That’s why operators can take advantage of the opportunity to have their processes and machine maintenance analyzed by specialists. Together with the responsible persons within the company, the specialists can determine what the company needs the most. Does it need up-to-date, continuous condition monitoring and predictive maintenance technology, or would it achieve more initially by executing cost- and resource-saving reconditioning of the components? 

How does SKF Rotating Equipment Performance work? 

First of all, the Rotating Equipment Performance team analyzes the current status of the equipment in question, working closely with the operator and other responsible persons. This allows them to obtain clarification on current processes and the customer’s wishes, without which no potential for improvement can be discovered. The experts then decide, together with the operator, which measures are best-fit for the specific company. Alongside the expertise of experienced specialists, the team often deploys modern technologies such as Big Data analyses and the Industrial Internet of Things. 

SKF Rotating Equipment Performance can be roughly divided into five sub-areas:  

  • Analyze: Digital systems collect and analyze all data provided by sensor-based machines, without interruption. Irregularities are noticed immediately.  
  • Detect: Continuous condition monitoring detects faults and even minor irregularities, reports them, and ensures that the systems can remain in operation at all times. 
  • Maintenance: With efficient processes built around maintenance, companies increase their cost efficiency and can get more out of machine parts than before. 
  • Improve: Data analysis and comparison, as well as networked technologies keep lubrication and spare parts management running smoothly and thus save costs. 
  • Remanufacturing: When machine parts eventually wear out, a team of specialists refurbishes them, saving companies money and resources. 

Maintenance strategy and improvement potentials 

SKF Rotating Equipment Performance is a combination of digital technologies and process consulting from technical experts. It can be used to discover and eliminate potential for improvement at any company. More details on the topic can be found here 

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