The Schaeffler Group is supporting top-level sport with its technological expertise through sponsorship of the Institute for Research and Development of Sports Equipment (FES) in Berlin, Germany.
According to the agreement signed at the end of 2010, Schaeffler and the FES will collaborate on future development projects for sports equipment and measurement systems for monitoring the activities of athletes.
Furthermore, the co-operation is not restricted to the development and supply of rolling and plain bearings; both parties will work together on surface coatings for components, basic tribological investigations and on developing special materials. Both parties have already co-developed a new blade for ice skates, which was used during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Schaeffler developed a special lightweight material for the blades using a high-tech steel that is normally used in Schaeffler's rolling bearings for extreme environments.
A source of inspiration
Harald Schaale, Director of the FES, comments: "We are pleased that this collaboration has developed into a longer-term co-operation. The Schaeffler Group's technological expertise will provide us with several new sources of inspiration and therefore help our athletes to stay amongst the world's top performers."
Rolling and plain bearings and linear guidance systems play an important role in many types of competitive sports and training equipment. Application examples include racing bikes, inline speed skates and summer bobsleighs.
Dr Arbogast Grunau, President of Product Development at Schaeffler Group Industrial, states: "We are really pleased that we can make a valuable contribution to supporting top-level sport with our products and expertise.
"With our low-friction products in particular, we can improve the smooth running of sports equipment and therefore provide athletes with a decisive advantage of a few tenths of a second during competitions."
Lower mass, longer life and maximum reliability are key objectives during the development of sports equipment. The partnership with the FES offers Schaeffler the opportunity to test products with extreme requirements under extreme conditions and to define development methods for pushing performance limits.
Schaeffler has a tradition of developing products for sports equipment. The most recent developments here include: rolling bearings for bottom bracket units and wheel hubs of racing bicycles; Cronitect Hybrid roller bearings for the bottom brackets of city and touring bicycles; and sensor bottom brackets for drive control systems on electric bikes. Schaeffler has also developed components for Rohloff's 14-speed hub gear bearings for fitness and training equipment, and special corrosion-protected bearings and roller clutches for fishing reels.
For more information on Schaeffler products for sports and fitness equipment, call the Marketing Department on +44 (0)121 313 5870 or email .