Schaeffler introduces quality standard for bearings used in wind power applications

Rolling bearings

Schaeffler has introduced a wind power standard (WPOS) for its rolling bearings used in wind power applications.

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The company created the standard in response to the demands of multi-megawatt turbines, the development of which has led to higher forces and torques, meaning components are being subjected to ever-increasing loads. At the same time, any downtime or maintenance can be very costly, especially in the case of offshore plants.

Schaeffler claims that the new standard for products and processes enables it to ensure the high quality and reliability of its bearings and to offer customers the same quality as it is already providing in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

In future, the relevant bearings will be labelled with a ‘WPOS’ mark. It is expected that all Schaeffler bearings for wind power applications will be included in the WPOS standard by the beginning of 2014.

Ensuring quality

  • Internal audits will monitor compliance with strict quality specifications that apply to all development and design teams, as well as for all of Schaeffler’s manufacturing locations worldwide that design and manufacture bearings for wind turbines.
  • In order to ensure high standards are implemented, Schaeffler uses co-ordinated, transparent processes in close collaboration with customers and suppliers, with a defined change management structure, strict quality monitoring and comprehensive documentation.
  • Selective supplier development ensures high levels of quality in terms of the quality of steel used, for instance.
  • The design process involves product development in conjunction with customers and includes providing advice and guidance on selecting the correct bearing type, matching the bearing to the environmental conditions, designing the bearing while considering WPOS requirements and calculating the life, contact pressure and static factors of the bearing design.

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