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Industry News


Acquires BEGA International

Schaeffler has acquired BEGA International B.V. (Bega), a leading manufacturer of special tools for mounting and dismounting rolling bearings. The acquisition marks another step in the expansion of Schaeffler’s lifecycle service portfolio. Access to the IIoT platform created for Schaeffler’s OPTIME condition monitoring solution also opens up new possibilities for Bega’s intelligent maintenance tools. Customers will also benefit. They will have a common user interface for all touchpoints, which will help ensure a seamless user experience across the rolling bearing lifecycle, from installation to monitoring and maintenance, right through to repair. Customers and partners will be able to source solutions and services for rolling bearing maintenance and monitoring from a single provider and will benefit from more streamlined access to a range of upkeep and repair solutions.

“The thinking behind our strategically important Industry 4.0 business is to be the partner of choice for predictive and prescriptive maintenance solutions. By working with Bega, we can offer our customers top-quality total lifecycle services and solutions for bearings and other powertrain components,” said Rauli Hantikainen, head of Schaeffler’s Industry 4.0 strategic business field.

“Thanks to this new partnership, Schaeffler and Bega will rank among the top providers of maintenance solutions,” said Henk van Essen, who is the current CEO of Bega and will stay on in that role going forward. “We also want to be the most innovative provider of maintenance tools.”


Reports Power Transmission Engineering Market Upswing

At the board meeting of the VDMA Power Transmission Association on July 15, 2021, the sales forecast from the spring was increased from plus 5 percent to plus 10 percent.

The decisive factor here is the strong increase in incoming orders since the beginning of the year, which in the period from January to May 2021 are up 33 percent compared to the same period last year. Important customer groups, such as wind power, agricultural technology, construction machinery and materials handling technology, as well as the important export markets of the United States and China are supporting this development. However, a major challenge for both customers and suppliers are the restrictions in the global supply chains, which lead to delivery difficulties and cost pressure along the value chain.

10 percent increase in turnover expected

Despite these challenges, the industry is confident that it will close the current year with an increase in turnover of at least 10 percent. Due to the customer structure and product diversity of power transmission engineering, growth can vary greatly from company to company. Some companies in the automotive supply environment still have major transformation processes ahead of them.

The positive outlook should not obscure the fact that the power transmission engineering sector has come through the crisis relatively quickly in the post-COVID era, but from today’s perspective the high production level from 2018 of just under 18 billion euros cannot be achieved before the end of 2022.

Setting strategic topics in the association’s work

Wilhelm Rehm, chairman of the Power Transmission Engineering Association within the VDMA and member of the board of management of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, comments: “Power transmission engineering is technologically well positioned. The challenges of the future for our industry will lie in the areas of digitalization–in the process, in the product and in the supply chain–and in the large area of climate neutrality, sustainability and circular economy. This is also reflected in our association work with the strategic lines Drive4Green and Drive Technology 4.0.”

Hartmut Rauen, managing director of the Power Transmission Association within the VDMA, adds: “Today, Germany is the best innovation area for power transmission engineering and it also wants to remain the best production area. The industry is highly committed and is currently managing around 200 research projects at top universities with its Drive Technology Research Association (FVA e.V.), which are addressing precisely these issues. However, in times of massive transformation processes, we need a transparent cost-benefit analysis from a new federal government, as well as from the EU, and framework conditions that are as market-based and open to technology as possible. In addition, the competitiveness of the production location must be at the center of policy in order to leverage the potential for climate protection.”

With 92,300 employees (2020, in Germany), power transmission engineering is the largest sector within the mechanical engineering industry. The components and systems of power transmission engineering are the decisive performance modules. They are where power, torque and data flow together in one movement. The industry is well positioned thanks to the VDMA’s push to build a global Industry 4.0 ecosystem, as Rauen explains: “We are working on the digital twin, machine information interoperability, laying the foundations for digital-based processes and will also use them to efficiently realize the solutions towards intelligently networked, climate-neutral production.”

Worldwide Electric

Acquires Georator

Worldwide Electric, LLC has announced that it has acquired Georator Corporation and its subsidiary, Athlon. With this acquisition, Worldwide Electric is pleased to add frequency converters and generators to its extensive offering of motors, motor controls, and gear reducers.

Established in 1950, Georator Corporation designs and manufactures a complete line of rotary and solid-state power frequency converters for 50 Hz, 60 Hz, and 400 Hz applications in the industrial, aerospace, and government sectors. Georator products are recognized for reliability and longevity, many remaining in continuous service for decades. Worldwide Electric will continue to proudly manufacture Georator frequency converters in the United States, at Worldwide Electric’s ISO certified Louis Allis facility in Warrior, Alabama.

In 2009, the Georator Corporation founded Athlon to offer a reliable line of generators for industrial applications. Over the past decade, Athlon AC synchronous generators have become a trusted staple in industrial, marine, and light tower applications. Worldwide Electric will build on the success of the Athlon product line through an expanded product offering and improved delivery times while incorporating the world-class customer experience that Worldwide Electric customers have grown to appreciate and rely on.

Through this expanded product offering, Worldwide Electric will become a more effective partner for their existing customer base while also having the opportunity to meet and serve new customers. “Over the last 20 years, we’ve worked hard to attract and maintain a loyal customer base by providing exceptional customer service. We’re excited to have the opportunity to serve our existing customers with new products while also introducing a new set of customers to the convenience of our customer-centric business model. I’m truly excited to add these quality products to the Worldwide Electric portfolio,” said Jim Taylor, president and CEO at Worldwide Electric Corporation.

“We are pleased that a company with the outstanding track record of Worldwide Electric will be carrying on our 70-year history,” said George Ripol, retiring CEO of Georator. “We have great confidence that Worldwide Electric will be able to take Georator and Athlon to the next level.”

The acquisition of Georator and Athlon follows Worldwide Electric’s acquisition of Louis Allis in the Spring of 2020, making Worldwide Electric Corporation a single source for off-the-shelf motors, controls, and gear reducers, custom specialty and large horsepower motors, and now frequency converters and generators.


Named GM Supplier of the Year

SKF has been named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors for 2020. This is the ninth time that SKF has received this award. The annual awards highlight GM’s top 2020 calendar year suppliers from 16 countries who have exceeded GM’s requirements and provide GM customers with innovative technologies that are among the highest quality in the automotive industry.

“We’re grateful to be recognized again by GM as a Supplier of the Year and for the continued partnership with them as a customer. For over 70 years, our world-class bearing and seal technologies have been a critical component for many GM vehicle programs, and more recently, we are proud to also be supplying GM with bearings and seals for the next generation of all electric vehicles. In addition, SKF stepped up to the GM challenge to supply bearings used in building ventilators as part of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greg Zimmerman, President, SKF Automotive North America.

“As GM works to achieve a future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion, we are proud to have innovative and dedicated suppliers around the world as partners in this mission,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.

“Throughout a challenging year, our suppliers have shown resilience and dedication in working toward our shared goal of long-term sustainability for our planet and the communities we serve while meeting our present needs,” Amin said. “We are pleased with what we’ve accomplished together in the past year, and we are excited by the opportunity that lies ahead.”

The Supplier of the Year award winners were chosen by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing, and logistics executives. Winners were selected based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales and Logistics.


Expands Online Store with Seals and Bearings for Marine Applications

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions expands its online store to include Seals-Shop Marine, which makes seals and bearings for the marine industry available to order direct at the click of a mouse or swipe of the finger.

Christian Pachur, manager distribution and online sales, says: “Trelleborg’s Seals-Shop is highly successful. On average, we are seeing more than 150 transactions per month and with the addition of Seals-Shop Marine we expect that to increase. The Seals-Shop offers over 16,000 seals for standard and special applications, and through its clear structure and easy-to-use search interface, we know that visitors appreciate being able to quickly find the right sealing solution for their needs.”

Seals-Shop Marine, is a section within the existing Trelleborg Seals-Shop, offering seals and bearings for a full range of marine applications, including ships, boats, and hydroelectric power plants. In addition to dynamic and static seals, the Orkot portfolio of fabric-reinforced composite bushings and semi-finished products, which is widely used in the marine environment, is listed and available for purchase.

In Seals-Shop Marine, an extensive range of application-specific products can be searched, according to a variety of criteria such as material, diameter or width. Prices and availability are immediately displayed, meaning even complex orders can be rapidly expediated.

The Seals-Shop Marine is an expansion on the existing Seals-Shop. Through this online store, which serves customers in the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has been providing direct access to its sealing products for several years. By registering to the shop, users can submit orders for seals, gain access to detailed product data and installation guides and reach out to a knowledgeable customer service team.


Offers Knowledge Seminars: USA

SMT recently announced its Knowledge Exchange seminar events. Regardless of your speciality, SMT looks forward to visiting professionals from across the industry and sharing the latest research & development on a selection of the industry’s hottest topics. With no cost to your business & no time-consuming travel to manage, this is a great way to keep your edge at the forefront of transmission technology. A free three-month trial of the MASTA software will be made available to all who participate and even if you are an existing user, this gives you the chance to try other modules or train additional people. Topics include:

  • Time Domain Durability
  • NVH Operating Maps
  • Gear Blank Tuning
  • Planetary NVH & Sidebands
  • Asymmetric Cylindrical Gears
  • Efficiency Modelling & Optimization
  • Use Scripting to Automate Design & Analysis Processes
  • Cylindrical Gear Manufacturing
  • Advanced Loaded Tooth Contact Analysis Method
  • Bearing Analysis Method
  • Cycloidal Drives Analysis
  • Automation, Design Space Exploration & Optimization
  • Transmission Performance Optimization


Announces Recent Promotions

NTN Bearing Corporation of America is pleased to announce the promotions of Lou Payan to director of corporate accounts and Tim Bell to director of warehouse and logistics, respectively.

Payan, a 24-year veteran of the industry who has spent the last five years with NTN, has extensive experience building successful sales and marketing strategies across all major channels and has developed a strong reputation for his knowledge and leadership. In his new role, he will continue to develop and grow NTN’s corporate accounts team and the strategy for capturing corporate account sales opportunities for the industrial aftermarket. He reports to Jim Misch, director of industrial marketing and technical services.

“Using his outstanding knowledge of the industry and his leadership skills, Lou has developed a very strong program that allows he and his team to successfully capture critical corporate accounts and improve our growth,” said Misch. “He has been a critical member of the Industrial Aftermarket Business Unit and will continue to be as we move forward.”

Bell has spent the last six years of his more than 25-year career with NTN. He has a diverse background in transportation, warehousing and supply chain management with special focuses in operations, systems, organizational and analytical skills, purchasing, IT systems, customer service, material handling, and Six Sigma and Lean methodologies. In his new role, Bell will be responsible for overseeing all of NBCA’s warehouses as well as the logistics group. He reports to John Husemann, director of operations.

“Tim was instrumental in transitioning our Des Plaines Distribution Center to our new Distribution Center in Whitestown, Indiana,” said Husemann. “He has provided great leadership in helping to get Whitestown up and running effectively and efficiently while supporting his team in overcoming daily obstacles associated with a new warehouse. The accurate and on-time delivery of our parts is critical to our success and Tim and his team do an outstanding job for us.”


Introduces Make Power Smart App

Continental has developed its Make Power Smart app to support distributors by digitizing the tachometer, tension frequency meter and laser alignment tool for improved productivity.

“Make Power Smart is designed to save money, while extending the life and improving the operation of belt systems,” said Mariano Alvaro, Continental’s head of distribution-Iberia and a member of the Make Power Smart team. “This app will revolutionize how fast we can help our customers troubleshoot their manufacturing process and significantly improve their belt life.”

The app offers the ability to check belt tension, realign pulleys and set proper pulley distance, all through a mobile phone. This allows Continental customers to adjust on the fly rather than calling in an external team to troubleshoot. Make Power Smart has been in beta testing for months with Continental distributors able to test the product in real world situations. The initial launch went live June 28 for a wider audience.

“We had an opportunity to try this app out, and the time savings and convenience have a real-world benefit,” said James Stratmann, president of Sunset Industrial Parts. “When you add time benefit with properly operating systems, longer product life and more efficient processes, significant savings will be a real value add from this software.”

“It’s been a great experience trying this software out and working with the Continental team to further hone it in,” said Mark Balcom, president of Pooley Inc., another Continental distributor, and Make Power Smart beta tester. “Their focus on creating tools which help us, and our customers, save time and money, provides a whole new level of customer service we’re able to offer to our customers.”

The app will initially be released for free to Continental distributors and Partners of Choice to better serve their customers. The company plans a full purchasable release of the app in early September for those outside of that demographic.


Appoints Clark to Board of Directors

Xometry, Inc. has announced the recent appointment of Ranjana Clark to its board of directors. Clark, the Head of Global Transaction Banking, Head of Transaction Banking Americas, and Bay Area President of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), will provide counsel to Xometry on payments and business strategies, as the company disrupts and transforms the $260B manufacturing industry.

With more than 30 years of executive experience in the financial services industry, Clark brings a wealth of knowledge to Xometry’s board of directors from her previous roles spanning payments, marketing, strategy and business leadership. Currently, Clark is leading Japanese banking giant MUFG’s move to a global business model for its Transaction Banking line of business, spanning the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in addition to continuing her role as Bay Area President. Prior to joining MUFG, Clark was the Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at PayPal and served as President of Global Business Payments and Head of Global Strategy at The Western Union Company. She currently serves on the board of directors of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc, and was named as one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2020.

“We’re excited to welcome Ranjana to our board of directors as we focus on disrupting one of the largest industries in the world by providing real-time equitable access to global capacity and demand,” said Randy Altschuler, CEO of Xometry. “Her deep expertise in payments, business strategy and marketing will prove valuable as we continue to help thousands of manufacturers grow and more efficiently run their business through the Xometry marketplace.”

“Xometry is transforming the manufacturing industry with its AI-enabled on-demand manufacturing marketplace, allowing thousands of small manufacturers to grow their businesses, improve their cash flow and create more jobs,” said Clark. “I am thrilled to work with Randy and the team to help accelerate the company’s growth and advance its set of financial products and services that help its sellers manage cash flow at all stages of job production.”

Clark holds a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, a master’s degree in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi.

Bosch Rexroth

Presents Connected Hydraulics Roadshow Traveling Exhibit

Bosch Rexroth’s Connected Hydraulics Roadshow is a traveling exhibit, bringing a complete “trade show booth on wheels” to plants and industrial parks across North America beginning September 2021.

The Connected Hydraulics Roadshow is a self-contained exhibit, housed in a specially created tractor trailer that is designed to present a full array of Bosch Rexroth’s smart, networked hydraulics technology directly to engineering and operational personnel at industrial plants and other facilities.

The Connected Hydraulics Roadshow is scheduled to begin touring in September, with its debut at the FABTECH show in Chicago, IL.

Technology demonstrations and exhibits in the showcase will give visitors detailed insights into the ways Rexroth industrial hydraulics solutions can help simplify industrial system design, streamline installation, reduce production equipment footprint, maximize productivity and minimize downtime.

Bosch Rexroth’s Connected Hydraulics concept is focused on introducing new and updated technology that is quieter and more compact, flexible and efficient than previous generations of industrial hydraulics. Connected hydraulics systems incorporate advanced digital controls and connectivity features, so hydraulic components will not only be integrated easily into the machine control and factory network, but also seamlessly with each other into an ecosystem of components and digital services.

The Connected Hydraulics Roadshow brings this wealth of information about the advantages Bosch Rexroth’s advanced hydraulics offers directly to local industrial sites and other convenient locations. Engineering staff and plant operators will have the opportunity to view technology presentations given by Rexroth technology experts and consult one-on-one with them about current challenges and future needs.


Presents Exceptional Achievement Service Award

The Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) honored Doug Moore of HECO Kentucky Service Company as the 2021 recipient of the EASA Exceptional Achievement Service Award.

Established in 1997, this annual award recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional service to the electrical apparatus sales and service industry over a lifetime. “It is the highest honor an individual can receive from our association,” said Linda Raynes, EASA president and CEO. “We view it as our Nobel Prize for achievement and service.”

In announcing the award, Past EASA Chairman Gary Byars noted, “The EASA award recognizes those who have gone above and beyond, providing exceptional service and demonstrating steadfast dedication to the electrical apparatus sales and service industry. This prestigious distinction is bestowed only to the extraordinary in our community.”

“This year’s recipient has been active in EASA for many years. He served on the international board of directors from 2009 to 2016 and was chairman of the board in 2014-15. He served for nearly twenty years on EASA’s Technical Education Committee and chaired it for several years. His commitment to our industry is evident in the nominating letters we received.”

In nominating Moore for this award, one letter from a repair firm member read, “Through his foresight, insight and proactive approach, he was instrumental in assisting in the development of many of the top-notch educational materials that benefit our members today.”

Another member wrote, “He is one of the giants in the industry and deserves the recognition this award would bestow, for all of EASA has been able to benefit from this great leader and communicator.”

Yet another said, “When I think of my friend and EASA leader, three words come to mind: committed, passionate and proficient.”

One final letter noted, “Beside his dedication for EASA for more than 30 years, he is a real inspiring person with an open mind.”

RBC Bearings

Set to Purchase ABB Dodge

RBC Bearings Incorporated has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Dodge mechanical power transmission division of ABB for $2.9 billion in cash.

With headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, Dodge is a leading manufacturer of mounted bearings and mechanical products with market-leading brand recognition. Dodge manufactures a complete line of mounted bearings, enclosed gearing and power transmission components across a diverse set of industrial end markets. Dodge primarily operates across the construction and mining aftermarket, food & beverage, warehousing and general machinery verticals, with sales predominately in the Americas. DODGE generated revenue of approximately $617 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $174 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 28%, for the 12 months ended June 30, 2021.

RBC Bearings Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael J. Hartnett, said, “We are very pleased to announce the execution of an agreement between ABB and RBC Bearings to acquire Dodge. The combination will enhance RBC Bearings’ capabilities, footprint, and customer base while increasing our access to Dodge’s attractive end markets. Our businesses are highly complementary, with Dodge bringing new offerings, new end markets, and more scale to the combined organization. The combined company will have an attractive position in the aerospace, defense and industrial markets with a diversified client base and expansive geographic footprint. We look forward to welcoming Dodge’s talented team to RBC Bearings.”

“We are delighted that Dodge has found an excellent new home with RBC Bearings, where it can continue its exciting growth story,” said ABB CEO Björn Rosengren. “This transaction further strengthens ABB’s balance sheet. In line with our capital allocation priorities, we plan to first use the proceeds from the transaction to fund organic growth, pay a rising sustainable dividend per share and make value-creating acquisitions.”

The article "Industry News" appeared in the September 2021 issue of Power Transmission Engineering.

Worldwide Electric
Bosch Rexroth
RBC Bearings