Main Window - Perspective


ORBIS is a computer program to solve the nonlinear elastic behavior of rolling-element ball bearings. The model considers each ball-to-race contact for all bearing rows defined in the system; resulting in complete knowledge of element load distributions and their raceway attitudes. Core analysis methods are based on industry standard A.B. Jones theories.

The program offers a modern graphical interface that is designed to be useful. Our mission is to make ORBIS the 'industry standard' for rolling-element bearing analysis.

Screenshots (click to view)

Feature Overview

ORBIS is a full-featured bearing analysis tool. Table 1. lists general features and Table 2. lists available analysis outputs. See the "Key Tools & Features" section below for further details about the many advanced utilities.

Table 1. ORBIS Features
  • Modern graphical interface
  • Direct temperature loading
  • Fitup/interference considerations
  • Ring clamping effects
  • Multiple point 5 DOF loading
  • Analyze up to 5 bearing rows on a common shaft
  • Truncation analysis
  • Fatigue life w/ adjustment factors
  • Parameter sensitivity plotting
  • Tolerance analysis
  • Flexible shaft modeling
  • Ball speed variation
  • Unlimited No. balls per row
  • Dahl stiffness & hysteresis plotting
  • Lubricant film thickness
  • User defined databases
  • Load case batch processing
  • 64-Bit compatible
  • Data plotting
  • Data export to Excel®

Table 2. ORBIS Outputs
Row & System Level Rolling-Element Level
  • All input parameters
  • Ball crossing angles
  • Internal clearance changes
  • Ring distortion properties
  • Mounted preload forces and deflections
  • Row reaction forces on shaft
  • Inner ring displacements
  • Axial stiffness w/ ring compliance
  • System Jacobian (diagonals)
  • Full row stiffness matrices
  • L10 & adjusted fatigue life
  • Lubricant & reliability life factor calculations
  • Coulomb & viscous bearing torques
  • Maximum ball excursions
  • Normal ball loads
  • Contact angles
  • Mean Hertzian stresses
  • % truncated length
  • Truncated center & edge stresses
  • Ellipse dimensions (major & minor)
  • Max sub-surface shear stress
  • Depth of max shear stress
  • Upper & lower contact extremities
  • Contact normal approach
  • Contact normal stiffness
  • Element spinning velocities
  • Element rolling velocities
  • Spinning torque
  • Rolling torque
  • Pitch orbit velocity
  • Minimum film thickness
  • Minimum film Lambda values
  • Centrifugal forces
  • Gyroscopic moments

Why Choose ORBIS?


In addition to analyzing multiple bearings on a common shaft, ORBIS provides many tools and features to aid in the design and optimization of the user defined system. For instance, the sensitivity tool allows almost any input parameter to be independently varied and plotted against one or more output parameters. Other tools include tolerance analysis, flexible shaft modeler, batch processing and Dahl torque hysteresis. See the Key Tools & Features section for further details.


ORBIS is built on core methods published by A. B. Jones and has become the trusted bearing analysis solution for industries extending from bearing manufacturers to aerospace and defense companies. In addition to verification from our clients, ORBIS accuracy has been validated by comparing numerous test cases with the Jones program.

Ease of Use

By adhering to clear and instinctive data input, and organizing information in an intuitive manner, we believe you will find the ORBIS interface easy to use. Customizable bearing, material and lubricant databases save time by 'remembering' numerous parameters that are often reused.

Long Term Dependability

Since the first version release in 2009, we have continued developing ORBIS. We believe clients should not have to purchase new versions every time a feature is added. To address this, software licenses are leased and all users receive new version releases. Also, the Java® development platform was specifically chosen due to its robust compatibility with various computer operating systems and machine architectures. Our mission is to make ORBIS the industry standard for rolling-element bearing analysis.

User Base

The ORBIS user base consist of bearing manufacturers, missile and defense contractors, and the aerospace industry. Please contact us for more user information.

Key Tools & Features

Sensitivity Studies Image

Sensitivity Studies

The Sensitivity utility is used to perform parametric studies of various input variables within the user-defined system. It allows perturbations to any input variable, as defined in Table 3., to be plotted against selected output variables, such as maximum stress, preload, stiffness, etcetera. The plot windows easily export to your analysis reports and have many formatting options. Additionally, all raw plot data can be exported to Excel® for further analysis.

Table 3. Sensitivity Input Parameters
Independent Parameters
  • All load DOF's: Fx, Fy, Fz, Fyy, Fzz
  • Load location along shaft
  • Shaft temperature
  • Housing temperature
  • Bulk Temperature
  • Rotational Velocity
  • Free contact angle
  • I.R. curvature
  • O.R. curvature
  • Row location along shaft
  • I.D. fitup
  • O.D. fitup
  • Preload
  • Coefficient of friction
  • I.R. clamp load
  • O.R. clamp load
Shaft Flexibility Image

Flexible Shaft Analyzer

This utility is used to account for elastic compliance of the bearing shaft, resulting in independent bearing rotation attitudes. The elasticity model uses Timoshenko beam element formulations that account for both bending and shear deflections in the shaft. The user can define up to 25 unique circular beam elements; each of which may contain unique cross section dimensions and/or materials. Deformed shaft shape can also be plotted.

Flex Shaft Plot1 Flex Shaft Plot2
Tolerance Dialog

Tolerance Analysis

This utility iteratively solves all permutations of key tolerances. The tolerance conditions causing worst case Hertzian contact stress is output to a results window. Options include: vary sign convention on load components, apply tolerance conditions to all rows or a specific row, and stop iterations if truncation is found.

Dahl Torque Image

Dahl Torque Hysteresis

The Dahl Torque Hysteresis utility is used to analyze the torsional stiffness (torque versus angle) of the bearing system during startup or direction reversal. This phenomenon occurs through small finite angles of rotation, often most apparent when direction of rotation is reversed, at speeds sufficiently slow such that viscous drag is negligible. The utility provides quick inspection of the reversing torque slope and steady state torque. Additionally, the utility can quickly generate small angle hysteresis loops for both graphical plot inspection and data export.

Dahl Torque Plot

Data Plotting and Exporting

Orbis supports data plotting and data exporting. Plot windows are interactive and provide click-n-drag mouse zooming, complete plot reformatting, and the ability to save final plots to image files. Data exporting provides delimited text file output formats that can easily be imported into other software (such as Microsoft Excel®).

Load Case Batch Processing

The batch processing utility allows the user to import a .csv file with an unlimited number of load cases. The utility will process all cases and generate separate output files for each case.


See our download page for all available downloads.

System Requirements

The following minimum system requirements are needed for ORBIS to operate correctly: