A detailed look at the [--break--]  entire system

“Over 60 years ago, Dr Georg Schaeffler invented the needle roller cage and made the needle roller bearing into a reliable and cost-effective industrial product. Building on this tradition and the unabated innovative strength of our company, we continue to make improvements to the needle roller bearing today.”

Dr. Peter Friedrich, Head of the Needle Roller Bearing Business Unit

The 225,000 different products within the Industrial division, manufactured at Schaeffler locations worldwide, [--break--]  demonstrate the extraordinary scope of our product range. Schaeffler’s industrial components are among the world’s best in many segments. Our high-efficiency needle roller bearings are an example of this.

At Schaeffler, the customer is the focus of our attention. Since we know his needs and analyze and understand the customer’s entire system, we can ideally match our components to their surroundings.

Nowadays, simply continuously improving individual components is no longer [--break--]  sufficient. At Schaeffler, we put the customer at the center of our attention. Since [--break--] we understand the customer’s entire system, we can ideally match our components to their surroundings. Our customers benefit from this approach because this type of cooperation creates and maintains significant long-term advantages for them in the market.

The “added competence” concept of the production machinery business unit stands for this comprehensive understanding of the system, which extends far beyond [--break--]  individual components. Thus, bearings, surrounding construction, and the entire system are ideally matched to each other. This approach creates the right environment for developing balanced overall solutions that best address technical and economic needs.

Schaeffler currently produces 15,000 different needle roller bearings for a wide variety of applications. They are among the world’s highest-performing needle roller bearings. Schaeffler presented the latest generation of needle roller bearings at the Hanover Fair 2011: Our X-life needle roller bearing –D has a load bearing capacity up to 25 percent higher than existing products. The high performance to weight ratio enables downsizing of machines and units while maintaining the same performance and making a significant contribution to conserving resources.

The second new development has significantly improved friction properties: The TWin Cage in our X-life needle roller bearings reduces friction by a quarter compared to conventional plastic cages, increasing efficiency. Even more impressive is the reduction in friction in our new slimline drawn cup needle roller bearings: Friction (in comparison to the plain bearings still used in transmissions for passenger cars) has been decreased by 60 percent. At Schaeffler, the prospect of making such major improvements in the interests of our customers is what motivates us every day. Our solutions for the printing industry demonstrate this.

More than 60 years ago, Dr Georg Schaeffler presented the first cage-guided needle roller bearings to the public. These bearings soon drove the increased use of rolling bearings in sheetfed offset printing machines. Thanks to its combination of high rigidity and significantly reduced bearing clearance, the cage-guided needle roller bearing replaced plain bearings and significantly increased the reliability and performance of printing machines. The speed and productivity of printing machinery has increased considerably since then. While improvements have been made in speed and efficiency, our customers in the printing industry still also expect excellent print quality. In addition to INA needle roller bearings from Schaeffler, we have taken the next step: Developing high-precision multi-ring bearing units. In cooperation with its customers, Schaeffler has integrated additional printing machine functions into these bearing units. Three ring- or four ring bearing units enable us to even better meet our customers’ requirements while maintaining the highest-possible level of system reliability.

However, not only a large number of different needle roller bearings are used in printing machinery; precision cam mechanisms also play a dominant role in controlling the complex functions of a printing machine in the electronic age. The wide range of yoke and stud type track rollers offered by market leader Schaeffler are indispensable for these applications. Operational safety and a particularly long operating life are key expectations in the printing industry. These criteria have also been driving further development of our yoke and stud type track rollers. With the TRIONDUR coating on their outer surface, we have brought a highly innovative solution onto the market that offers our customers significantly more wear resistance than a conventional steel-steel contact. Particularly in the event of high tribomechanical stress, such as under insufficient lubrication and dry running conditions, these innovations offer significant additional reliability – this is another response to the problems our customers in the printing industry have come to us with.

We can test big bearings, too: “ Astraios” large-size bearing test rig

The Schaeffler Group has been testing on a new scale since the end of 2011. We have put the [--break--]  world’s largest and most powerful large-size bearing test rig into operation in Schweinfurt. [--break--] This is where we test our products for use in multi-megawatt wind turbines. The test rig [--break--] enables bearings of up to 15 tons and measuring up to 3.5 meters to be put through their paces [--break--] under realistic conditions.