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Off-Highway & Railway Business Unit

  • SKF is providing bearings and oscillating joints, seals for hydraulic cylinders and rotating shafts, central lubrication systems, health monitoring and design engineering for the complete work- and drive side of industrial off-highway machinery
  • Off-highway machinery comprises construction, agriculture, forestry, tunnel boring machines and fork lift trucks
  • Working with all leading players in above market segments where their markets are: China, India, USA, Western Europe and Japan
  • SKF is a technology leader growing with global industry leaders
  • Global manufacturing- and distribution network; rotating system design- and system supply capability

                                                  SKF Off-Highway

Off-Highway is part of one of the business units in SKF’s business area of Industrial Market. We handle builders and users of construction, agriculture & forestry, lift truck drives and tunnel-boring machines (so called non-public road vehicles) from this business unit.

Construction machinery industry will continue to grow over the coming years with an average of global compound annual growth rate of 6.5%. The construction machinery market, and consequently its production, is gradually shifting to Asia with China as the largest market, representing some 50% of global demand in 2015 (from 18% in 2005). Meanwhile SKF is maintaining and continuing to build a strong engineering team in the US and Europe where some customers have their design control and engineering teams.
Market escalation for bio-fuel and higher demand for food supply, which to a large extent propelled by increased world population, has resulted in greater pressure on many farms across the world. It drives a steady growth of 6% CAGR over the coming years. Farms are growing in size, while equipments are getting larger and more powerful, with elevated demand for precision farming which can deliver up to 15% in costs savings, 20% fuel consumption reduction and 10 to 20% yield improvement.
To help end-users in construction, agriculture and forestry move toward more precise, productive, equipment options, OEMs are moving toward electromechanical actuation for applications previously controlled hydraulically or manually. SKF actuators for Off-Highway and outdoor equipment are engineered and tested for reliability, virtually maintenance-free performance in the field. The use of electromechanical actuators also results in improved ergonomics and reduced environmental impact from mitigating the risk of hydraulic fluid leakages.
Due to various emission and fuel consumption legislations, the agriculture and construction market is also experiencing a transition to electric-, hybrid- and higher efficiency traditional drive trains. SKF is a (world) leader in developing and providing solutions for electric motors/generators, such as its hybrid- and Insocoat™ product portfolio and sensors for e.g. the commutation function. 
Besides that, OEMs are in search of weight reductions and efficiency improvements in all parts of their existing machine ranges by lowering friction or down-sizing. SKF’s engineering design helps to deliver optimized efficiency in drive trains, whilst its specialized seals and bearings are enabling customers to increase machine efficiency. 
Through ideas and innovation such as applying special sealing solution (e.g. SKF Agri Hub for tillage disc), new bearing unit range from a combination of two bearing types and a patented sealing solution (SKF agriculture Y-bearings) or simply by accurately applying the right amount of lubricant when needed (SKF Hydraulic Driven Lubricator), many SKF customers are witnessing savings in costs from reduced lubricant use and longer service life.

Dietmar Seidel, Manager Trade Press

phone: +49 9721 56-22843, e-mail:


Source: SKF GmbH