The last in a short, 3-part series, Schaeffler’s Director – BU Production Machinery, NA, Craig Hooker gives Bearing Tips his take on trends he sees coming along for the industry.
Bearing Tips: What kinds of large-scale industry moves are you seeing in miniaturization, System-on-Chip (SoC) technologies, automation and customization? How do these trends relate to the components Schaeffler sells?
Hooker: We definitely see a trend where customers value smaller more integrated electro-mechanical designs. The bearing with the integrated brake discussed [in the last series installment] is an example.
By integrating multiple features into one device, you often can save space and cost. Another example is a high accuracy turn table bearing (YRT) that we have integrated into an absolute measuring system (YRTMA). A customer can buy these two products separately but the advantages that Schaeffler provides by providing the integrated solution are an improvement in system accuracy and simplified installation. Another example is a product where we integrate torque sensing into a bearing assembly. The torque sensing technology is robust and allows our customer to better control the amount of fertilizer that is distributed from a spreader. The last example is the Velomatic actuator. This product was developed to allow a bicycle rider to automatically shift gears. The product connects to a smart phone where you can select the type of cadence or routine you prefer and the gears are shifted accordingly.