Railway - 4% of net sales 2016

Market overview

Industrial production, growing global urbanization, increased global concern for emissions, rising fuel prices and continued liberalization of the railway market, is driving growth in the railway industry.

The market is made up of two main sectors: goods transportation, covering the freight wagon and freight locomotive market and the passenger transportation sector, covering intercity transportation and urban transport (commuter, metro and light rail). The annual production of freight wagons makes up around one quarter of the total volume, while the remaining part comprises locomotives and passenger transportation.

Overall the railway industry is expecting continued growth in the coming years. There will be a continued or even accelerated growth in urban transport systems globally as a consequence of urbanization. High speed trains in China, have grown quickly. However, growth in the Chinese high speed sector is likely to level off, while the aftermarket is anticipated to grow in the next four to five years.

SKF’s offer and role in the market

SKF has enjoyed steady growth, above the industry’s average, in the railway industry over the five past years.

SKF is a global supplier to the railway industry, focusing on servicing both the freight and mass transit markets. SKF supplies OEMs and end-users with a wide range of solutions across the SKF technology platforms, covering wheelset bearings, axleboxes, drive system bearings, lubrication systems, sealing solutions and condition-monitoring. SKF also offers aftermarket services such as remanufacturing services, on-site engineering services, product training and upgrades.

There is a significant need to extend maintenance intervals in the industry, along with greater efforts to avoid unnecessary downtime without compromising safety. To support the industry, SKF offers condition-monitoring systems, which provide an early warning of change in the operating conditions of bearings and other mechanical parts. One example is SKF Insight, a selfpowered sensor bearing, that allows for wireless communication of information about the condition of the bearing via the SKF network of Remote Diagnostic Centres. This will help SKF’s customers to extend maintenance intervals further and reduce the operational cost of rolling stock. SKF Insight is currently being piloted by three European railway customers.

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