SKF is building a large-scale bearing (LSB) test center in Schweinfurt, Germany.
SKF is building a large-scale bearing (LSB) test center in Schweinfurt, Germany.

SKF is investing in the construction of a large-size bearing (LSB) test center in Schweinfurt, Germany. The investment is supported by both the German Government and State of Bavaria, who are contributing SEK28 million in funding.

The test center will have two LSB test rigs; one for testing bearings used in wind turbine main shafts and one for applications across a wider scope of industries, including marine, mining, construction and steel. The former will be able to test bearings with an outer ring diameter of up to 6 m, with extreme bending moments and dynamic loading conditions.

The bearing test rig dedicated to the wind energy segment will be the first in the world capable of testing single rotor bearings as well as mainshaft bearing arrangements in a realistic application environment.

Lower energy

‘This new facility will significantly cut the length of time the testing process takes, reducing associated energy consumption and CO2 emissions,’ said Bernd Stephan, senior vice president, group technology development. ‘Recycling residual heat from both test rigs will also contribute to lower energy usage.’

Construction of the bearing test center will commence during the summer of 2015 and is expected to be completed during the first half of 2017.