As anyone who ever had a bearing fail knows, durability counts. However some bearing makers believe that predictability is more important than longer bearing life. By harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT) and other Industry 4.0 technologies—low-cost sensors, Big Data analytics, and machine learning—manufacturing companies want to catapult one of the world’s oldest mechanical devices into the digital future. In fact, bearings are emerging as a poster child for Industry 4.0. Yet this heady mixture of digital technology and physical products is also disrupting how companies monitor, operate, and service rotating equipment; the way they sell and service products; and who they partner with and compete against. This article delves into how bearing makers are embracing this disruption.

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