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Spotlight

Technology and Engineering at the Company’s Core

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:33

Many companies have benefitted from the extended mining industry boom, which came about in large part as a result of the increasing demand for commodities in the world’s developing economies. “When we look at the whole market from a strategic point of view, what is driving Timken’s business is the emergence of a middle class in developing markets,” says John Byers, Market Manager at Timken. “As China has brought 500 million people into its middle class, India has brought 150-200 million and Indonesia and Brazil have brought them by the tens of millions. They have created a demand for commodities that has changed the face of our world.”

Timken is therefore focused on the industries that produce these commodities, from coal miners in Australia and oil drillers in the Gulf of Mexico to wheat farmers in Kansas. With over 70 years in the business of making the components that make the equipment used in these industries more reliable, Timken has worked with industry leaders from Caterpillar to Hitachi. Having started off with two core products – bearings and high performance steel – the company now has over 20. “Today, Timken engineers, manufactures, and markets mechanical components and high performance steel. Our bearings, engineeredsteel bars and tubes, as well as transmissions, gearboxes and related products and services, support industrial markets worldwide,” says Byers. “Timken products are installed inside the hardest working industrial machinery, the machinery that helps to build infrastructure around the world. We continue to focus on markets that have high demands – the more extreme and challenging the engineering problem, the more grueling the conditions, the greater the value we create for our customers.” Byers goes on to cite the example of a project Timken recently worked on for a major original equipment manufacturer, on which the company was able to increase the life of a haul truck two and a half-fold by creating wear-resistant coatings for bearings. “Instead of using larger bearings we maintained the same sized bearings, using coatings to increase fatigue life more than twofold without having to make any change to the customer’s shaft and housing design,” he explains. This is just one example of Timken’s commitment to finding and applying technological innovations on its equipment. Another example is its Eco-Power™ heater, which has a flexible design that allows significant reductions in the time it takes to install, remove, and separate bearings and gears from shafts, without damaging the equipment. “Timken is focused on providing industrial components and engineered solutions that improve customer performance and uptime,” says Byers.

An important element in fulfilling this commitment is the company’s Online Intelligence System, which allows data collection on the moving components of shovels and draglines, vibrations analysis, and ultimately detects potential issues before they happen, avoiding machine breakdowns and downtime. “Unexpected bearing or gear failures can have a catastrophic effect on the system components. Drive system failures typically require costly replacement, as well as the logistics of doing so. Early detection of pending problems can lead to individual part replacement or component repair, increasing reliability and significant savings,” says Byers. “Timken, at its heart, is a technology and engineering company. The company keeps industry in motion. In collaboration with our customers, we continue to develop new ideas, new innovations, and new technologies, and we think that means a future that is bright for our customers, as well as The Timken Company.”