Now That’s Smart


Did you ever wish that the conversations one has with inanimate objects could be two-way rather than just yelling at the thing? My computer is a perfect example. It receives my wrath almost daily and just sits there, taking it.

Well, consider bearings, those critical yet mostly quiet servants of industry. It seems that bearing manufacturer, SKF, has managed to enable its new bearings to let us know how they are doing.

The company calls it “smart” technology because it allows the bearings to communicate their operating conditions continuously. All of the intelligence, including cabling, power source, sensors and data acquisition electronics resides inside the bearing.

A number of parameters that can lead to bearing failure are under constant measurement in order to alert the user when something is out of whack, which seems like a much better solution than simply waiting for a seize-up.