SKF has opened a Solution Factory at its UK headquarters in Luton. This is the 13th Solution Factory to have been opened worldwide, and the company aims to have 30 by 2015. The idea behind the Solution Factories is to provide a means by which customers can access the vast global knowledgebase that SKF possesses, relating to both industries and technologies, as well as engineering resources. Customers can therefore enhance their productivity and profitability by improving reliability, raising plant availability, reducing maintenance costs and increasing energy efficiency, as well as getting products to market faster and generally optimising product and plant/machinery designs.
By making use of the Solution Factory, OEMs and end users can access SKF products and services, benefiting from the way SKF has integrated these two sides of its business. SKF is also encouraging its key distributors to make use of the Solution Factory in order that they can provide an enhanced service to their customers and end users.
Specific services that SKF is offering under the Solution Factory banner include:
- Asset efficiency optimisation
- Root cause and lubrication analysis
- Application engineering
- Spindle and bearing refurbishment
- Project, energy and sustainability management
And the five areas of competence and application-specific expertise that the Solution Factory covers are:
- Bearings and bearing units
- Lubrication systems
- Mechatronics (intelligent systems combining mechanics and electronics - such as electric linear actuators)
- Services (such as condition monitoring, reliability and asset management services, 3D CAD modelling and simulation)
Michael Crean, Director of SKF's Services Division, comments: "In the past, SKF has been seen as a specialised manufacturer of high-quality products, such as bearings, seals, lubrication systems, condition monitoring and motion devices. More recently, we have introduced a range of value-added services that help engineers extend the performance and functionality of these products. In addition, we have steadily been developing the business tools, skills and infrastructure to enable us to work with customer organisations from the top down; for example, looking at how engineering or process assets can effectively be optimised to meet business goals.
"The global Solution Factory programme is therefore a vital element in our long-term strategy, as it repositions our business as a key provider of knowledge engineering to customers at all levels, from senior management through planning and purchasing to production and engineering. Just as importantly, it enables us to partner with customers to develop unique solutions that deliver tangible commercial benefits from both existing and newly emerging technologies."
Located within SKF's facility in Luton, the UK Solution Factory builds on the existing engineering, project management and analytical services available on site, with additional production capability and expertise available from SKF's manufacturing and technical centres around the world.
In conclusion, Michael Crean states: "The Solution Factory is a key phase in the repositioning of our business and in strengthening our knowledge engineering capabilities, so that we can partner with customers at all levels and help them realise genuine improvements in business productivity and profitability."
To find out more about the SKF Solution Factory in the UK, telephone +44 (0)1582 490049 or email .