Industry Outlook: Creating Sustainable Value

EP Editorial Staff | August 1, 2009

dettloffOne of our missions at SKF is to equip our customers worldwide with the technologies, products and services that can help them weather the current economic downturn and build toward a more competitive and healthier future. A key driver behind this mission is the quest for sustainability, with an emphasis on ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce negative environmental impact and add value in the process.

By working in (and understanding) so many different customer industries, SKF possesses a particular marketplace advantage. We have been at the forefront in the practice of “transfer of technology,” in which products and services developed for one industry segment can be adapted to deliver solutions in other industries—all the while creating value for customers. We accomplish this both by investing in core technology areas and by combining our extensive systems-oriented knowledge and expertise. Along the way, SKF can spearhead the development of value propositions for a broader range of different industries and customers around the world.

Delivering sustainable value
Our product offerings have evolved over many years and the creation of value for customers has been at the heart of the evolution. Today, we understand that the concept of “value” has perhaps never been more valued. There are many examples of how value-creating and energy-saving technologies can help improve equipment performance, streamline production efficiency and/or reduce operating costs—whether the economy is good or bad:

  • Condition-monitoring systems for the wind energy industry have advanced into a third generation with the observable capability to prevent random failures (and downtime), as well as make renewable energy production more efficient.
  • Centralized lubrication and minimal quantity lubrication systems have been introduced to optimize the process by delivering the proper amount of lubricant in the right place at the right time to enhance asset reliability and minimize maintenance requirements.
  • Specialized tools have been devised to realize and calculate energy savings in specific applications, products, or throughout entire manufacturing processes across industries.
  • Our proprietary Documented Solutions Program (DSP) enables customers to identify and quantify energy savings and then apply similar measures for success in other parts of the plant, or at plants in other parts of the world.

For us, sustainable value naturally follows from environmentally sound and energy-efficient products and services. Our own ultimate vision is to strive toward a net positive contribution to the environment, which we define as the BeyondZero concept. The goal is to make a measurably positive (or “plus”) impact on the environment instead of simply reducing
greenhouse gas emissions or an overall footprint. We are well on our way.


Partnering with our customers
These days, as we actively partner with our customers, we note that many engineering teams have seized the opportunities inherent in today’s volatile economic and environmental climate to evaluate existing designs with an eye toward re-engineering and developing next-generation designs. Some organizations may focus on reducing costs, while others may concentrate on designs that will be faster, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. For our part, when we can contribute sustainable value to such efforts, our mission is accomplished. MT

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