Mechatronics is becoming increasingly important in the development of innovative rolling bearing solutions. Through increased functionality, it allows further increases in the productivity, cost-efficiency and reliability of machinery. With the development of new rolling bearings with integrated sensors and an integrated or adjacent energy supply, Schaeffler offers new possible solutions for numerous industrial sectors – for example for e-bikes, machine tools and medical equipment.
Example - e-bikes: pedal cycles with electronic support mechanisms are becoming increasingly popular and intelligent bearing solutions for use in these are becoming increasingly important. In this sector, we offer an extensive portfolio of sensor bottom brackets that combine bearings, sensors and electronics in a compact unit with a very small design envelope. In order to detect precisely the level of assistance required by the rider and control the power feed accordingly, the data required for precise control and regulation of the electric drive are detected directly within the bottom bracket itself: speed, torque, direction of rotation and angle of rotation – with convincing results for the rider: optimum assistance is given in any riding situation. This increases comfort and efficiency, thus improving range.
For machine tools, Schaeffler has developed an angular measuring system integrated in the bearing that is matched to the requirements of highly dynamic, precise rotary axes with direct drive. It gives a convincing combination of high measurement speed, accuracy and robust design – all achieved within a very small design envelope. In addition, it is insensitive to contamination and offers a free central passage through the rotary axis. In comparison with optical systems, it gives significantly better performance both in economic and in design terms.
For the specific case of ceiling mounts in operating theatres, Schaeffler has developed a bearing unit with an electromechanical brake. The angular contact roller bearing AXS is designed for high axial loads and facilitates the secure mounting of medical equipment with smooth adjustment characteristics. The integrated electronic brake ensures absolutely secure location in the ergonomically optimum position. Due to the compact construction, the system is not only lighter but its closed design also facilitates disinfection in the operating theatre.