Research and Development, Innovation


Product and process development

Highly-specialised products

Since slewing bearings and components for machinery are tailored to the individual needs of the customer, they are often only manufactured in small numbers. We construct bearings of large dimensions for wind turbines, cranes and tunnel boring machines around the world, which can withstand the toughest operating conditions. You can find a selection of these applications in our flagship projects.

In order to be able to develop the best possible products for our customers, we rely on our extensive basic knowledge and practical experience under real operating conditions for 60 years. We use our long-term and close cooperation with regional and national research partners in order to ensure our insights remain up-to-date and are expanded on. We regularly supplement this with advanced student work.

The theoretical foundations in the operation of slewing bearings and their components are tested on a one to one scale. Although our test benches only took up a small space in manufacturing halls at the beginning, this area grew to 1,200 square metres at the beginning of the seventies. In the spring of 2015, our newly founded and self-financed development centre began research operations. With its 3,200 square metre halls and 7,500 square metre outside areas, it is the largest and most modern of its kind in the world.

Our test centre is not only tasked with developing bearings and their components. It must also ensure a high level of quality by carrying out a continuous and recurring inspection, on a 1:1 scale, of the bearings and components from production.

Our test benches

Test bench

“Great things only happen where theory and practice meet.”

Tobias Ninnemann, Research & Development Trainee

On the progress report

The investigations range from conventional service tests to company-oriented or accelerated service life tests (the so-called HAL test), to functional tests and customer approval tests in the climatic room using the original companion structure. In addition, we support our customers in slewing bearing measurement campaigns, as well as during installation and calibration of self-developed Condition Monitoring Systems.

Axial test benches

For up to 4 m Ø

Main shaft bearing test benches

up to 20 MNm tilting torque and 5 m Ø

Pitch bearing test benches

up to 15 MNm tilting torque and 3 m Ø

Pitch & main shaft bearing test benches with rotor blade and hub

Inspections up to 75 MNm approx. 5 m Ø

In addition, for bearings up to approx. 3 m Ø, other test benches are available for:

  • High and low temperature investigations

  • Acoustic evaluation

  • High speed tests

These are supplemented by a variety of other inspection equipment for bearing components like:

  • Rolling elements

  • Lubricants

  • Seals

  • Retainers

  • Coatings

Material and process development


Balls as components in our bearings

Our products

rothe erde® rings as bearing components

Our rings

Rollers are components in our bearings

Our products

Due to the high level of vertical integration, the slewing bearings components of rings, rollers, balls and manufacturing and quality assurance processes are also developed and optimised. This is how, for example, by means of material developments, optimal features for the respective field of application can be achieved. This development is sometimes carried out in cooperation with universities and suppliers. The continuous development and inspection in the test centre enables the determination of slewing bearing of specific suitability.

Other interesting content