IPP&T Magazine Online

Smart bearings reduce replacement frequency

January 4, 2018  

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The days of scheduled bearing replacement are going the way of the typewriter and pay phones, thanks to smart technology.

“The adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based smart bearings, which can self-diagnose impending faults and failures, is expected to significantly increase in aerospace and defense, wind turbines, railway, and automotive,” said Frost & Sullivan Automation & Process Control Research Analyst Krishna Raman. “This will enable bearing manufacturers to enhance their bearing product portfolios by developing smart bearing solutions through partnerships with IIoT solution providers as well as by providing predictive maintenance services.”

The European bearings market is witnessing steady growth, thanks to the adoption of sophisticated bearings with improved performance and demand for bearings with longer service life, higher efficiency, and lower maintenance requirements.

And with a higher adoption rate of smart bearings expected to reduce the replacement frequency, smart bearings will be replaced on the basis of the actual condition of the bearing rather than on a predetermined replacement schedule.


Strategic imperatives for success and growth in the European bearings market include:

  • Establishing close working relationships with customers during the bearing design phase;
  • Developing bearings to suit the specific needs of customers;
  • Creating an integrated solution approach to meet stringent on-road vehicle efficiency norms and emission standards; and
  • Developing robust testing mechanisms to validate the performance of special bearings such as wash-down version bearings and heat-resistant bearings.

“In the renewable energy segment,” said Raman, “spherical bearings for wind turbine rotor blades and insulated ball and cylindrical roller bearings for generators are expected to be the differentiating product segments that offer opportunities for high-quality bearing suppliers.”