FVA: BEARING WORLD on the Road to Success

  • More participants, more presentations, increased international participation
  • New professions, predictability, digitalization and changes in mobility are among the key challenges in the rolling bearing industry
Conference venue TU Kaiserslautern (Mai © FVA)

Frankfurt am Main/Kaiserslautern, March 8, 2018: Bearings are the heart of any machine – this holds true both for industrial applications and automotive engineering. Rolling bearings are an essential design element in all technologies where there is movement. BEARING WORLD focuses on all aspects relating to rolling and plain bearings. This year’s edition of the international scientific expert conference on bearings was organized for the second time by the Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik (FVA). Hosted by Prof. Bernd Sauer, the conference under the motto “Industrial Research and Science in Dialog with Practical Application” was held at the TU Kaiserslautern from March 6 to 7, 2018. Prof. Bernd Sauer is the chair of the Institute of Machine Elements, Gears and Transmissions (MEGT) at the TU Kaiserslautern, which ranks among the world’s leading research institutes in the field of rolling bearings. The next BEARING WORLD will be held in 2020.

Dr.-Ing. Victoria van Camp, SKF Group (Mai © FVA)

Considerably higher attendance from Germany and abroad

More than 250 participants (2016: 200) from 18 countries (2016: 11) accepted the invitation to the expert conference in Kaiserslautern. The considerably higher attendance from Germany and abroad reflects the great interest among industry and science representatives in high-level international exchanges on scientific topics. BEARING WORLD was initiated by the FVA in 2016 to focus on the increasing internationalization of rolling bearing markets and the resulting need for stronger international collaboration in research and development. The conference in 2016 marked the first occasion for the FVA to address an international audience. As of 2018, all FVA conferences will focus on an international perspective, thus pushing ahead with their strategy of increased global networking.

Tim Hosenfeldt, Schaeffler AG (Mai © FVA)

High-level keynotes by international experts

In addition to presentations on plain bearings, the conference succeeded in providing a comprehensive overview of latest research and development activities in the field of rolling bearings. Victoria van Camp, SKF Group, Sweden, and Prof. Tim Hosenfeldt, SCHAEFFLER AG, shed some light on future challenges for bearing manufacturers in their keynotes.

Bernd Sauer TU Kaiserslautern

Key topics of the conference included reliability and efficiency, and other key areas such as energy efficiency, damage types, bearing calculation and dimensioning, applications in power transmission, operational stability and service life. 17 of a total of 44 presentations were held by international experts from scientific research institutes and corporate research departments.

Networking and interdisciplinary collaboration are the keys to success

“Predictability is becoming even more important than longer service life. This means that our bearings experts also need to specialize in interpreting data from sensors and using this data in their predictions. We think that mechanical engineers need to become mechatronic engineers. At SKF, we are establishing teams that consist of data scientists and mechanical engineers because they can learn from one another”, said keynote speaker Dr.-Ing. Victoria van Camp, President, Innovation and Business Development, SKF Group, Sweden, in describing the most important challenges facing the rolling bearing industry. In addition, it will become all the more important to be able to make reliable predictions on operation and operating states and to offer solutions to tackle the issues of increasing digitalization.

Main auditorium TU Kaiserslautern (Mai © FVA)

Mega trends and electromobility require new solutions

In his keynote, Prof. Dr. Tim Hosenfeldt, Senior Vice President Technology Strategy and Innovation at Schaeffler AG explained how global mega trends such as climate change, globalization, urbanization and digitalization affect the corporate strategy and product portfolio of a mobility provider and rolling bearing manufacturer such as Schaeffler. Most importantly, their effect on the mobility of the future makes it necessary to develop entirely new solutions and products in the rolling bearing industry, for example with regard to the dynamic development in the field of electromobility. “The evolution of mobility is in full swing, making it necessary for mobility service providers such as Schaeffler to address the changes ahead. The greatest challenge we are facing will be to adopt an ambidextrous approach, which means being capable of using both hands to equal measure at the same time. Translated to corporate level, we need to further improve tried-and-test technologies while simultaneously exploring new mobility solutions”, said Tim Hosenfeldt.

International networking is key to meeting the challenges of the future

Hartmut Rauen, VDMA Deputy Executive Director and Managing Director of the FVA is convinced that the research association is on the right track: “When it comes to tackling future challenges such as digitalization, electrification and sustainable management, international networking of industry and science is simply indispensable. With BEARING WORLD, the FVA offers the leading global platform for high-level scientific and technical exchange.”

Hartmut Rauen © VDMA

BEARING WORLD JOURNAL annually presents important research findings

The BEARING WORLD conference is held every two years. The FVA’s BEARING WORLD JOURNAL serves to foster exchanges among international experts between the conference years by featuring peer-reviewed, high-quality scientific papers on rolling and plain bearings. As an international expert platform for publishing cutting-edge research findings, the journal is intended to contribute to technological progress in the field of bearings.

Visit the websites at: www.fva-net.dewww.bearingworld.org

The biennial BEARING WORLD conference was initiated by the FVA in 2016 to focus on the increasing internationalization of rolling bearing markets and the resulting need for stronger international collaboration in research and development. The conference offers a unique global platform for leading international experts in the field of rolling and plain bearings. www.bearingworld.org

About the FVA
The FVA (Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V.) is the leading global research and innovation network for drive technology. Industrial developers and researchers have been working together on fundamental pre-competitive questions of power transmission engineering since 1967. This form of industrial collective research provides the basis for the product innovations of more than 200 FVA members. Over the course of 50 years, the FVA has implemented 1,700 projects with a financial volume of more than 230 million euros. www.fva-net.de