SKF UK opens Solution Factory in Luton
SKF has opened a Solution Factory at its UK headquarters in Luton, designed to unite the company's key service and product offerings under a single banner.
The Solution Factory is part of a programme being rolled out globally with the aim of providing customers with an integrated suite of facilities to help them improve key building processes, while enhancing productivity and profitability.
It is based around existing engineering, project management and analytical services at its Luton plant, supported by specialist production resources at the company's manufacturing and technical centres.
In particular, the facility brings together essential services, including asset efficiency optimisation, root cause failure and lubrication analysis, application engineering and spindle and large-size bearing refurbishment, plus project, energy and sustainability management.
Michael Crean, director of SKF Service Division UK, said: 'In the past, SKF has been seen as a specialised manufacturer of high-quality products, such as bearings, seals, lubrication systems, condition monitoring and linear motion devices.
'More recently, we have introduced a range of value-added services that help engineers extend the performance and functionality of these products.
'In addition, we have steadily been developing the business tools, skills and infrastructure to enable us to work with customer organisations from the top down; for example, looking at how engineering or process assets can effectively be optimised to meet business goals.
'The SKF Solution Factory programme is therefore a vital element in our long-term strategy, as it repositions our business as a key provider of knowledge engineering to customers at all levels, from senior management through planning and purchasing to production and engineering.
'Just as importantly, it enables us to partner with customers to develop solutions that deliver tangible commercial benefits from both existing and newly emerging technologies,' he added.
The first SKF Solution Factory was opened in Shanghai in 2008.
Since then a second Solution Factory has been set up in China and a further 10 in Taiwan, India, South Africa, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Brazil, the US and France.
As part of the ongoing UK programme, the facility has been restructured, with continuous process and personnel development, to strengthen the depth and range of services available for key distributors, OEMs and end users.
SKF is helping Sappi Fine Paper Europe in Germany to improve efficiency in paper production through a programme of condition monitoring at its mill at Ehingen.
SKF linear motion technology is helping Mirage Machines to enhance the performance and reliability of its flange-facing tools.
SKF has released the TKED 1, an electrical discharge detector pen that detects electrical discharge in bearings.
SKF's latest Multilog on-line systems offer a complete machine condition monitoring system for early fault detection and prevention and supporting advanced condition-based maintenance.
A wireless machine condition detector is claimed to be faster and safer for operators carrying out inspections, enabling operating costs to be reduced considerably.