By Mike Swann, Waukesha Magnetic Bearings
Published in Turbomachinery International, Sept/Oct 2009

The diffusion of new technologies into industrial and consumer goods market has been studied extensively over the past four decades. This effort has given rise to several useful mathematical model formulations that describe the diffusion process as one by which users will substitute an older established technology with a newer one on the basis of how efficiently communications about the newer technology’s attributes, risks, and costs are enabled.

The drivers for the penetration of Active Magnetic Bearings (AMBs) have been promoted extensively. They are: Reduced power losses, reduced maintenance costs, wider operating speed and temperature range, better rotordynamic control, lower fire risk, less expensive foundations, and so on, while achieving reliability and availability figures that are at least as good as oil lubricated bearing systems, and with a justifiable price premium.

These positive attributes can therefore be expected to facilitate the penetration of Active Magnetic Bearing (AMB) technology into this large turbomachinery in a systematic way that can be described accurately by a mathematical model. This would allow the prediction of the rate at which the technology would be adopted as well as what fraction of the population of ultimate adopters will adopt at what time.

Read the article in the September/October 2009 issue of Turbomachinery International magazine for a brief history of the adoption and development of magnetic bearings.

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