|
|
The Suburbanite
  • What's happening with the Timken Co.

  • A detailed look at some of the Timken Co.’s most recent activities.

     

    • email print
  • The Timken Co. will decide by December whether to spend $225 million to upgrade its Faircrest Steel plant in Perry Township, increasing the plant’s output of high-quality steel bars by up to 25 percent.
    As of 2008, the plant produced a million tons of steel a year, doubling its initial capacity when it opened in 1985, according to Thomas Moline, Timken’s vice president of steel manufacturing. The steel is used in oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing and heavy equipment, areas where Timken is seeing growing demand as its steel manufacturing closely approaches maximum capacity.
    The company is considering buying a new ladle refiner to enhance steel quality and a large capacity continuous caster, which does not employ the traditional and less efficient method of pouring molten steel into ingot molds. Much of the products would be large cross-section steel bars, 6 inches to 16 inches in diameter, many which would be sold to the energy industry.
    “Why the investment in the forging press at Faircrest?” said Timken President and CEO James Griffith. “It gives us the ability to make large solid center steel bars that nobody in North America has. Nobody in China has.” Griffith says the decision will be based on whether government agencies grant the necessary environmental and regulatory permits, whether demand still is growing and whether United Steelworkers Local 1123, which represents Timken hourly workers, agrees to an extension of its labor contract. Local 1123 President Joe Hoagland did not return messages seeking comment. The contract expires in September 2013, and the company doesn’t want the risk of a strike just as new equipment becomes operational in 2014. The union’s website says its negotiators will have its initial meeting with Timken executives Tuesday.
    In February, Timken said it would spend $35 million to install a new high-volume, in-line forge press at the Faircrest plant that’s scheduled to be operational by 2013. The press would eliminate undesirable pores from molten steel, improving its quality. The steel would be used in oil and gas exploration equipment, which is subject to extreme conditions. The press would increase output by up to 4 percent.
    • Timken will decide by December whether and how it will consolidate two of its local offices. The first office has 500 Bearings and Power Transmission employees at its leased Cherry Avenue SE offices in Canton, who work in sales and marketing, financial planning, customer service and the supply chain office. The products serve the aerospace, mobile machinery and rail industries. The second office includes 400 employees at its global technology center, which is on 95 acres on Mount Pleasant Street NW in Jackson Township. This is where Timken engineers perform research and design to create and enhance bearing products and power transmission products, and it’s where metallurgists work on developing steel products.
    Griffith said the consolidation is about driving innovation so the people who market the products and directly serve customers are collaborating with engineers, to ensure the products meet customers’ needs earlier in the design process.
    Page 2 of 2 - “You’ve got to put those people together because you have to increase the rate of interaction between the technologists and the people in the market,” he said.
     Timken has not announced a cost estimate for a consolidation, which likely would include expanding the technology center offices to accommodate the workers from Cherry by 2014, when the lease for the Cherry offices expire.
    • Timken last month announced it would acquire Drives LLC in Fulton, Ill., for $92 million. Drives makes drive-chains, roller-chains and conveyer augurs for agricultural and industrial use.
    • Timken in July closed its $200 million acquisition of Philadelphia Gear, which makes high-performance gear-drive systems and is based in King of Prussia, Pa.
    • Timken in July 2010 announced it was acquiring QM Bearings and Power Transmission in Ferndale, Wash., which makes spherical roller bearings and couplings for sawmilling and logging.
    • Timken and the University of Akron agreed in August to jointly establish the Timken Engineered Surfaces Laboratory next year, with about $5 million in cash and equipment from Timken.
    • Timken in July broke ground on constructing an $11.8 million, 18,000-square-foot wind energy turbine bearing testing facility funded by $6 million from the company and government grants it will share with Stark State College, which owns the 15-acre site on Shuffel Drive NW in Jackson Township. Stark State will hold wind energy classes at the facility.
    • Timken in 2010 shut down its Canton Industrial Bearing Complex, which included Canton Bearing, Gambrinus Roller and Gambrinus Bearing, eliminating 57 jobs. The operation, whose elimination was phased out over six years, had about 1,300 workers in 2004.