A new sensor (pictured) has been developed that enables the online condition monitoring of grease in rolling bearings. The sensor is suitable for monitoring critical plant and machinery located in difficult-to-access areas, such as wind turbines and automated assembly lines.

Developed by The Schaeffler Group in conjunction with Freudenberg Dichtungs und Schwingungstechnik and lubricants specialist Klüber Lubrication, the new sensor incorporates an electronic evaluation system, which enables the condition of the grease to be monitored while the bearings are operating. The sensor is positioned directly in the rolling bearing immersed in the grease. This is seen as a breakthrough, as the schedule for replacing rolling bearing grease can now be planned into maintenance schedules. Any changes in the condition of the grease are detected early, before any damage is caused to the bearings.