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SKF recently announced that it will invest approximately $48 million to improve the competitiveness of its deep-groove ball bearing (DGBB) offering. This will include shifting production from Bari, Italy, to Asia and Eastern Europe. The company’s DGBB manufacturing in China will also be consolidated into a new factory, and an automated production channel will be implemented in Italy.
The new DGBB factory in Xinchang, China, will require an investment of approximately $39 million and is expected to be fully operational during the first half of 2020.
“Through this investment, we will increase our competitiveness in Asia,” said Patrick Tong, SKF’s president of industrial sales in Asia. “Having already moved the group’s global product development for DGBB from Europe to China, we will now be able to step up our full-value chain approach to serve local customer and application needs.”
The investment in the Italian factory totals approximately $5.3 million and will lead to the automation of manual operations and a flexible and more competitive manufacturing process. Associated staff reductions will result in restructuring costs of approximately $14.9 million. The automated production channel in Italy is expected to be completed during the second half of 2020.
In addition, more than $3 million is being invested in technology and capacity upgrades in existing factories in Asia and Eastern Europe.
“We are deploying one of the world’s most advanced, flexible and fully automated assembly lines of its kind in Bari,” said Kent Viitanen, president of SKF’s bearing operations. “This enables a reduction in resetting time from hours to minutes, meaning much greater flexibility and improved customer-service levels. The investment will also contribute to improved quality and allow us to develop the technical competence of our staff.”
For more information, visit www.skf.com.