SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors

Real-time load, speed, and temperature sensing with fiber optics

Take the guesswork out of your product development

What if you could draw reliable, accurate conclusions about the performance of your
designs and prototypes, based on hard facts?

SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors

SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors

With SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors, you can use real-time bearing load feedback while testing your designs and prototypes. That way, you can improve and digitalize your design processes, generating significant savings in time and money.

SKF Load Sensing Bearings work by integrating a fiber optic sensorized bearing into your prototype equipment to extract reliable data using light alone. Together with the SKF ‘interrogator’ unit and specialist PC-based software SKF Optomnia®, you can integrate and correlate load measurements with other test results to get a true, accurate picture
of performance.

Identifying problems before they happen

Misalignment of Pumps vs Drive
- visualizing in real-time for
faster installation...

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Achieving the Best Efficiency Point (BEP) -
the correlation between radial force
and best efficiency…

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It’s well-known that misalignment between drive and pump strongly affects the service life of a pump. Laser alignment and other methods are therefore applied at the installation of new machines. However, alignment is not normally done in running conditions or in-service under prolonged use. Tests were therefore done to simulate one misaligned (roughly aligned by eye) drive train (pump-coupling-motor) with the same one after laser alignment. Then, by Fiber Optic Sensing (FOS), measured internal bearing strains at each FBG could be recorded under running and presented graphically as a video sequence* (illustrated in snapshots to right). These polar plots, from a development test rig with bearings that were deliberately misaligned, demonstrate that alignment can be achieved very quickly when combining the plots with values of direction and magnitude.

* Required use of a video capturing tool not included in the first release of SKF Optomnia® software.

Internar bearing measurements
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One of the most common pump designs, on which the API 610 standard is applied, is the centerline-mounted, single-stage, overhung (OH2) centrifugal pump (shown below). In the design, the axial force from the hydraulics is normally going to the left (to the suction) but it could also act in the direction to the right (to the drive side), under certain process conditions. This change in direction is mainly governed by the magnitudes and difference in inlet and outlet pressures. The magnitude of the radial force and direction acting on the impeller are strongly dependent on the flow rate, i.e. strongly related to the actual working point in the pump curve.

Pump application study - test results
centifugal pump

The radial force is an important parameter, even if it can be one magnitude lower than the axial force, as it affects the reliability of the pump. For example, it governs the bending of the shaft that strongly affects the performance of the seals in the pump and the internal strains of the rolling bearings. Physically, the radial loads are coming from the pressure build-up between the impeller and the single volute housing.
A pump string test, with the now commercially-available FOS ACBBs, performed in close collaboration with a major pump OEM, demonstrated this effect for magnitudes for axial and radial forces and radial force angle (see graph below). It could be seen that the angle of the radial force changes in direction with a 180-degree switch close to the best efficiency point (BEP) of the pump, as predicted. The behaviour is due to the location of the main pressure change over the “cutwater position” in the single volute design. At the same time, the magnitude of the radial force sees a minimum just before the BEP, also in-line with the theories for this type of pump. Unwanted forces from mishandling e.g. from a closed valve (deadheading), wrong settings (cavitation) etc., can potentially be detected too.

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From monitoring to taking control

This new FOS technology is squarely aimed at making it possible to take a proactive approach, with the ability to act on data before the problem occurs. If you see vibrations, you are detecting a failing component after the fact - a reactive discovery - but with load sensing, you can understand the operating conditions and how your equipment is running in real-time, so you can proactively seek solutions and save time and cost. Additionally, using load data to verify designs potentially improves performance and ROI; the load sensing bearings measure the actual load that the bearing experiences, rather than what it’s originally designed for. Routing this data back into the design phase means improving the system, the bearing design, and the overall performance.

Process and equipment Performance
 

SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors: accuracy, reliability, speed

In the fast-moving and competitive world of manufacturing, embracing new innovations and opportunities is critical – which makes the SKF Load Sensing Bearings an important part of your future:

Cut Cost

Cut costs with optimized designs

Using real-time data to validate design calculations makes it easier and cheaper to innovate in the marketplace with new products.

Accurate commissioning

Enable accurate commissioning

Bring critical equipment up to speed and keep it there with documented force, lubrication, alignment and signal data.

Better decisions

Make better decisions faster

With the right data at the right time, you can ensure important choices made during development are the right ones, helping you significantly shorten time to market.

New Insights

Gain new insights

Correlate real-time load and strain feedback, and post-analysis of high-speed fluctuations, with the evaluation of shaft deflection, misalignment, cavitation, seal wear, lubrication, and more.

Digitalize Process

Digitalize your processes

Combining load sensing with SKF engineering tools and application knowledge enables full digitalization of your product design
and development.

Rely on Precision

Rely on precision

Verify and clarify assumptions and theoretical models to perfect your products with lower tolerances and tightened specifications.

Cut cost with optimized designs

Cut costs with optimized designs

Using real-time data to validate design calculations makes it easier and cheaper to innovate in the marketplace with new products.

Digitalize your process

Digitalize your processes

Combining DVST with SKF engineering tools and application knowledge enables full digitalization of your product design and development.

get new insights.png

Gain new insights

Leverage the unique capability for real-time bearing load feedback, along with shaft deflection and misalignment, cavitation, seal wear and lubrication conditions.

Make better decisions faster

Make better decisions faster

With the right data at the right time, you can ensure important choices made during development are the right ones, helping you significantly shorten time to market.

Get to market faster

Enable accurate commissioning

Bring critical equipment up to speed and keep it there with documented force, lubrication, alignment and signal data.

get new insights.png

Rely on precision

Verify and clarify assumptions and theoretical models to perfect your products with lower tolerances and tightened specifications.

Cut cost with optimized designs

Cut costs with optimized designs

Using real-time data to validate design calculations makes it easier and cheaper to innovate in the marketplace with new products.

make better decisions

Make better decisions faster

With the right data at the right time, you can ensure important choices made during development are the right ones, helping you significantly shorten time to market.

Digitalize your process

Digitalize your processes

Combining load sensing with SKF engineering tools and application knowledge enables full digitalization of your product design and development.

Get to market faster

Enable accurate commissioning

Bring critical equipment up to speed and keep it there with documented force, lubrication, alignment and signal data.

get new insights.png

Gain new insights

Leverage the unique capability for real-time bearing load feedback, along with shaft deflection and misalignment, cavitation, seal wear and lubrication conditions.

get new insights.png

Rely on precision

Verify and clarify assumptions and theoretical models to perfect your products with lower tolerances and tightened specifications.

Insights at the speed of light

Precise sensing for precise design

Precise sensing for precise design

Take a closer look at SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and compressors, from features and parameters through to associated programs and services that enable accurate data collection.

 

The future is fiber optic

Explore SKF Load Sensing Bearings technology and how it enables reliable results to be gathered and viewed in real-time.

Ready to get started?

There’s no time to lose in adding value to your design, testing and Quality Assurance processes with SKF Load Sensing Bearings for pumps and
compressors. Get in touch with our experts today and find out how you can start leveraging reliable, accurate data to cut costs, save time,
get to market faster and embrace digitalization.

Or, visit the SKF Rotating Equipment Performance Hub and learn how to effectively utilise these
features as part of a wider rotating equipment strategy.