It’s cheaper in China

Bearing vendors Timken and NSK are forming a joint venture that will build a plant near Shanghai in China to manufacture tapered roller bearings.

Construction of the plant is to begin later in 2002, and production is scheduled to start early in 2004.

The joint venture plant will specialise in the production of single-row tapered bearings that are used in medium- to high-volume applications.

Equipment for the plant will come from a Timken plant in the UK that is closing, as well as from NSK operations in Japan. ‘The markets for these bearings are fiercely competitive,’ said Mr. Tetsuo Sekiya, president and chief executive officer of NSK. ‘To meet the demands of our customers, we must manufacture them in a low cost environment.’

The new venture will supply Timken and NSK with bearings made to each company’s specifications. Each company will then market the products independently under their respective brands.