SKF GmbH produces rolling bearing products at its plant in Lüchow, Lower Saxony. Systems and services from AICHELIN have been used for their heat treatment for decades. SKF commissioned AICHELIN Service to comprehensively modernise five of these plants over the course of 2022. With its successful recommissioning at the end of December 2022, SKF has achieved its project goals: to ensure production reliability and to significantly increase productivity.
The reason for the current plant modernisation was the outdated electronic control and the conversion to a Simatic S7-1500. SKF decided to combine this control upgrade with further conversions and modernisations of the plants.
In order to increase the throughput of parts in the heat treatment systems, AICHELIN designed a new stacking portal together with the SKF project team and an external partner. This stacking portal is being used for the first time at SKF and enables the customer to pass through two to a maximum of three layers of roller bearings in a single heat treatment process instead of the previous single layer. In addition to the expansion of production capacity, SKF will also be able to react more flexibly to additional requirements in the future and, above all, utilise the systems in a more energy-efficient manner. FOCOS 4.0, the application for monitoring and quality verification of the process values, was also newly integrated.
SKF decided early on to have the project planning and implementation of all trades carried out by AICHELIN Service. Getting 'everything from one source' was the decisive aspect: AICHELIN Service acted as the general contractor and was responsible for the overall project management as well as the execution of the services of all partners and subcontractors involved.
SKF is extremely satisfied with how this critical situation was mastered: "We once again worked very constructively and in a spirit of partnership with AICHELIN Service. We were able to overcome the delivery bottlenecks through high flexibility on both sides and the use of alternative suppliers, also from our SKF network. It is crucial that there is open and targeted communication in such phases," confirms the project manager in the Production Support & Heat Treatment department at SKF GmbH.
By increasing its productivity in the field of heat treatment, the SKF Lüchow site is strengthening its competitiveness.