The company also says it is expanding its bearing, seals operations in Asia and India
SKF will invest around $18 million in a new heat-treat facility in Falconer, N.Y., as part of an expansion to its aeroengine operations in the country. The new 6,100-square-meter facility will house a new high-tech vacuum furnace for the carburizing and hardening of a variety of materials and is a very critical operation in the bearing manufacturing process.
At a groundbreaking ceremony that included dignitaries from the State of New York and the local community, Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO, remarked, "We are very pleased to dedicate the construction commencement of this significant investment in SKF's operations in Falconer. This new facility enables us to bring the nearby Jamestown operations to the Falconer campus, and implement a state-of-the-art heat treat operation with cutting edge technology. While SKF is making a significant investment in this project, it would not have been possible without the dedicated support of the State of New York and the various organizations. This is something the local community can take great pride in securing."
The new SKF heat treating facility is expected to commence production in the spring of 2011 and will process parts for four SKF Aerobearing operations in the US, as well as for Venture Aerobearings, SKF's joint venture with GE, in Charleston. The facilities in Falconer and Jamestown have 691 employees.
The SKF Aeroengine North America business unit is a leader in high precision, custom-engineered ball and roller bearings for critical aeroengine and specialty applications, including ball and roller bearings for helicopters, main shaft and gearboxes for jet engines and various types of aircraft power assemblies. Specialty products are custom-designed bearings for technically and environmentally demanding applications such as pumps, motors and power transmission assemblies.
SKF continues to expand in China and is building a factory for medium size bearings, to support the fast growing demand from the local market as well as the rest of Asia. The factory will mainly serve customers within the renewable energy, metalworking, off-highway, electric motors and industrial transmission industries.
The factory will be located in Dalian, close to SKF's existing factory for large size bearings.
"Our business in Asia continues to develop very positively which makes an investment of this kind important to further support our growth in the region. This step strengthens our manufacturing base and reinforces our commitment to this market," says Tom Johnstone, SKF President and CEO.
SKF has decided to expand its present seals manufacturing capacity by building a new factory in Mysore, India. The new factory will serve customers within the automotive, railway and industrial applications segments. The investment amounts to around SEK 160 million.
SKF said that demand is rapidly growing mainly from SKF customers in India but also from customers in other geographical areas. The new Mysore factory will be part of SKF Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd. It will be fully operational by the second half of 2012 and will employ about 600 persons in total.
The company said its rapidly expanding seals business in Asia calls for an increase in its capacity in the region. The factory will further strengthen SKF's position in Asia and especially in India, says Tryggve Sthen, President SKF Automotive Division.