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SKF develops new technology to improve gearbox performance

 SKF, the knowledge engineering company, is continuing its partnership with Scuderia Ferrari in 2015, with the development of specialised components and systems to reduce weight and frictional power losses.
SKF has worked with Scuderia Ferrari to produce bearing sets manufactured from specially developed tool steel. By adapting the heat treatment process, SKF has been able to optimise the surface hardness properties. This makes each bearing extremely resistant to surface fatigue and able to withstand the exceptionally high contact stresses found in Formula One applications. As a result, bearings can be downsized without affecting performance or reliability.
The new bearing sets are now being used in the latest Scuderia Ferrari gearbox; where the ability to downsize has helped reduce overall weight by more than 20 per cent, the company claims. Gearbox performance is improved still further by the use of ceramic bearing rollers and optimised internal geometries; combined, these are making a significant reduction in frictional power losses. In a further development, Scuderia Ferrari is also using the latest condition monitoring technology from SKF. This is based on the company’s modular IMx platform, which has been re-engineered to meet the specific demands of the Team. In particular, SKF has adapted the hardware to enable it to process exceptionally large volumes of data at high speeds – typically up to 100 times faster than normally required in even the toughest of industrial applications.
Installed on Scuderia Ferrari engine and turbo test rigs, and using advanced SKF Observer software, the condition monitoring system provides asset protection, improved operational efficiency, preventive maintenance, and an increased speed of development.
Ing.Mattia Binotto, Power Unit Director of Scuderia Ferrari, explains, “SKF has played an important role in helping us develop the new 2015 Formula One car. The IMx solution is giving us fresh insight into how our engines perform, while the new gearbox bearings, along with specialised parts for our energy recovery and other critical on board systems, will be vital in helping us maintain a competitive advantage in the coming races.”

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