Opportunity

SKF is a world leader in rolling bearings and related technologies, also offering services for shipowners in optimizing the efficiency of marine thrusters. This optimization includes enhancing power output, maintenance cycles, and lowering fuel consumption. However, the current monitoring of thrusters is challenging due to the difficulty of powering the sensors in positions close enough to the critical areas. Now, we are looking for innovative energy generation methods to power existing IoT devices or solutions that can increase the accuracy of marine thruster monitoring. 

Opportunity overview

Optimization of the thrusters are dependent on the conditions, load, depth, and currents. The critical internal areas are submerged in oil, affected by vibrations and the rotational function of the thrusters. The harsh conditions make the powering of the sensors or the monitoring of the key elements such as bearings, gears, seals and oil conditions difficult, leading to less precise measurements to draw conclusions from. We are exploring innovative energy generation methods to power the existing IoT devices through e.g. power harvesting, as the unique application creates opportunities to harness consistent rotational energy and vibrations for potential power generation. Additionally, general solutions that can handle these types of condition monitoring tasks in challenging environments can substantially contribute to enhancing the efficiency, maintenance and environmental performance of the shipping industry.

Summary of the requested solution

The sought-after solution should focus on either innovative energy generation methods for the sensors or condition monitoring technologies for accurate monitoring of marine thrusters, considering the hostile environment. Any proposed solution must be cost-efficient, scalable, and address the challenging internal environment of a marine thruster, which includes exposure to oil and vibrations. Also, the solution should connect to the network onboard the vessel.

Your opportunity with SKF

SKF is the world’s largest bearing manufacturer, with 17,000 distributors in 130 countries. Collaborating with SKF on improving the optimization of marine thrusters presents an opportunity to contribute to more efficient and environmentally friendly maritime operations. Also, the marine unit within SKF sometimes serves as a test bench before technology and solutions are transferred to other segments. This a good way to submit your solution and gain access to the 40 industries that SKF is working with. We want to work together and provide you with valuable learnings from marine, enabling your company further opportunities within the industry.

Examples we're looking for

Energy generation methods for IoT devices

Innovative solutions such as energy harvesting to power existing sensors and other IoT devices can increase the efficiency of the sensors in the hostile environment of marine thrusters.

Condition monitoring technologies

High-performance conditional monitoring technologies capable of accurately monitoring e.g. bearings, seals, gears & lubrication in hostile environments such as marine thrusters, providing precise data for solving optimization problems.

SKF is a world-leading provider of innovative solutions that help industries become more competitive and sustainable. By making products lighter, more efficient, longer lasting, and repairable, they help their customers improve rotating equipment performance and reduce environmental impact. SKF's offering around the rotating shaft includes bearings, seals, lubrication management, condition monitoring, and services. Founded in 1907, SKF is represented in approximately 129 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide.
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