SKF helps Ovako strengthen maintenance regime

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Swedish steelmaker Ovako has extended a service agreement with SKF, which will see it introduce more advanced preventive maintenance technology to its operations.

Gothenburg, Sweden 31 May 2021: SKF has signed a new five-year service agreement that will help Swedish steelmaker Ovako further improve its preventive maintenance regime.

The two companies have worked together for nearly 10 years to prevent unplanned stoppages and reduce the cost of corrective maintenance. The new agreement will extend this, and see Ovako introduce more online systems and wireless technology to measure operational data.

“Increasing online measurement is an important part of our strategic work with preventive maintenance,” says Erik Wallberg, Maintenance Manager for Pipes and Ring at Ovako.

The new agreement, which also covers operational improvements in the production area of pipe and ring manufacturing, includes a package of preventive maintenance solutions for steel and rolling mills. These include maintenance strategy follow-up, inventory and lubricant analysis, vibration measurements and online measurement of critical machine equipment.

The number of measuring points in critical machinery will increase from 400 to 700. Expanded use of online measurement, in place of periodic measurement, will vastly increase the amount of usable operational data. Ovako will use fixed sensors and SKF’s IMX-8 system for online measurement. In addition, SKF’s wireless IMX 1 technology will be installed for mobile measurement, with all operational data going through the cloud.

“Our strategy is to reduce the proportion of corrective maintenance and work more preventively,” says Wallberg. “Expanding online measurement is an important part of this.”

Preventive maintenance has previously allowed Ovako to identify problems early and fix them immediately, helping it avoid bearing failures and machine downtime. Monitoring equipment constantly, rather than periodically, generates more data, which has allowed Ovako to see trends and patterns that can be acted on early.

“We have documented the savings in maintenance, and it has amounted to around SEK 8 million per year,” says Hans Norman, Key Customer Manager Industrial Sales SKF in Sweden.

Ovako is a leading European manufacturer of component steel for customers in industries such as ball bearing manufacture and transport. Since March 2019, Ovako has been a subsidiary of Sanyo Special Steel – part of Japan-based Nippon Steel Group.

For further information, please contact:

Press Relations: Gösta Andersson, +46 31-337 3060; +46 705-98 68 99;

SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. We do this by offering solutions that reduce friction and CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time increasing machine uptime and performance. Our products and services around the rotating shaft, include bearings, seals, lubrication management, artificial intelligence and wireless condition monitoring. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2020 were SEK 74 852 million and the number of employees was 40,963.

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