Germanischer Lloyd (GL), a certification body recognised worldwide for classification of products destined for shipbuilding, offshore marine, oil & gas and wind energy applications, has awarded Schaeffler the certification “Assessment of the method to investigate rolling bearing rating life” – the first time that a fundamental procedure has been certified. Prior to this, certification of each individual rating life factor was required.
The newly developed method describes the full range of calculation and test procedures that are required in order to determine every reference parameter that influences the rating life. This means that complex individual approvals for new products are no longer required. For Schaeffler customers, the new certification means a significant level of added value: less time required, lower costs, and proven reliability in high volume bearing production.
Why is rolling bearing rating life important?
In addition to the static load safety factor and design envelope, the calculated rating life is a key parameter in the design of rolling bearings. In most applications, the bearings are sized according to their rating life requirements. There are many applications, including wind turbines, where certification is only awarded if the calculated bearing rating life is above a minimum value stipulated by the relevant industry standards. The demand for energy savings means that downsizing is now sought-after in many applications. It is therefore important, even when smaller bearings are required, that the rating life requirements are fulfilled with a reliable method of predicting their rating life.
Quality: worldwide and permanent
During the certification process, GL was convinced that Schaeffler could permanently ensure the rating life factors that are determined during its global product development process. It was also proven that the tested material and process quality are valid, not just for the test parts, but for the entire series – worldwide. All of Schaeffler’s rating life test centres – which in addition to Herzogenaurach and Schweinfurt also include Kysuce in Slovakia and Taicang in China – now proudly display the prestigious GL seal of approval.
Schaeffler manufactures to the same high international quality standards worldwide. The basis for this is provided by its company-wide quality management system, whose many benefits include a guaranteed consistent level of material and process quality. State-of-the-art manufacturing technology for precision products represents a significant contribution to “zero-defect manufacturing”. Here, quality monitoring is integrated directly into the manufacturing process in a closed loop control system. Regular audits are carried out in all areas to ensure high quality standards.