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Industry News

Fenner Precision Polymers

Expands Portfolio with MAV Acquisition

Fenner Precision Polymers, a Michelin Group Company, recently announced the acquisition of MAV S.p.A., an Italian company, located in Altopiano della Vigolana in Northern Italy.

Established in 1989, the company is a leading European supplier of keyless-locking devices (KLD), shrink discs, rigid couplings, and other metal products. The acquisition offers an opportunity for growth, market share gains and improvements to Fenner Precision Polymers’ global supply chain by adding a second inventory and supply base.

“We believe the acquisition will help us position keyless technology as a preferred solution in hub to shaft applications,” said Brian Slingluff, vice president, global sales and marketing at Fenner Precision Polymers. “We’ve had a working relationship with MAV that helped establish the keyless locking devices market here in North America, so the foundation was already in place.”

Italy’s MAV S.p.A., acquired by Fenner Precision Polymers on December 1, 2020, produces a wide variety of engineered solutions like the keyless locking device shown here, used in apron feeder applications.

“Under ideal circumstances all parties benefit during an acquisition, and that is certainly the case here,” said Jack Krecek, divisional managing director, Fenner Precision Polymers. “All customers, including those in underserved and emerging markets, will benefit from our combined technical expertise, speed to market and turnaround times. MAV will continue operating under its esteemed brand, while also gaining access to a global sales force with considerable client relationships.”

While many organizations have scaled back during the pandemic, the company saw an opportunity to increase its global reach and expand its in-person sales team. Krecek believes the secret to success during challenging times is simply “not to oversteer one way or another.”

“I think it’s a credit to our entire organization that we’ve managed to stay on task and understand the markets we serve. Areas like aerospace, oil and gas, and mining etc. are going through tough times, but we feel we have the tools and technologies to serve these markets as they start to come back,” Krecek said.

“We’re already seeing signs of improvement in areas like distribution centers and medical devices,” Slingluff added. “We believe these markets will get stronger in the coming years.”

Some credit for the company’s success goes to a push in recent years for smart manufacturing initiatives.

“We are about a year into our IoT journey in Pennsylvania with purposeful investment in data capture that brings value to our customer. The first implementation was the integration of our tooling data with our belt slitting operations, eliminating human error, and significantly reducing scrap across several processes,” Slingluff said.

MAV’s Elisa Perazzoli facilitated the virtual employee and press presentations by MAV’s former CEO, Sandro Zamboni and Fenner Precision Polymers’ Divisional Managing Director, Jack Krecek.

Another significant investment is in coating technology for textiles products.

“This technology allows us to ‘dial in’ our thickness and provide traceability to meet the customer’s specification for high performing applications in the aerospace industry,” he added.

Looking ahead to 2021, Fenner Precision Polymers plans on extending Industry 4.0 into its extruded belting operations to utilize machine data for control and decision-making in ‘real time’ for product and operation optimization.

For now, however, the focus is getting MAV up to speed on the global benefits Fenner Precision Polymers can provide.

“The expression ‘small is beautiful’ has long defined Italian ingenuity,” said Sandro Zamboni, CEO, MAV. “Though a small company, when viewed through the eyes of globalization, MAV’s expertise looms large. We’ve successfully penetrated distant markets, strengthened relationships with customers and earned their trust and respect. However, we’ve now grown too big to remain small. This venture welcomes MAV to a larger multinational organization and better positions it to serve all markets. Joining with Fenner Precision Polymers offers a tremendous benefit to our customers as well, through our combined technical acumen, the resulting innovations in engineered solutions and the anticipated benefits from economies of scale.”

The Fenner Drives B-LOC keyless bushing brand provides a high capacity, zero-backlash shaft-to-hub connection by using the simple wedge principle. An axial force is applied by series of annular screws to engage circular steel rings and mating tapers. The resulting wedge action creates a radial force on the tapered rings, one of which contracts to squeeze the shaft while the other expands and presses into the component bore. Learn more at

Keyless locking devices are very popular in Europe, according to Slingluff, but not as widely used currently here in the states. Drive and system components with old-fashioned keyways and bushings are susceptible to backlash, leading to rounded out keyways, fatigue failures or fretting corrosion. Learn more at

“Our experience with this technology as well as the technical design expertise at MAV puts us in a great position to grow our business and become a global market leader,” Slingluff said. “We’re excited to expand our technological knowhow with MAV and strengthen our product offerings.”


Announces Recent Award Winners

Wendy B. McDonald was one of the power transmission/motion control industry’s true pioneers. To honor her memory, the PTDA Foundation established the Wendy B. McDonald Award in 2014. The award is given to a woman who has established herself as a critical contributor to her company’s success and has affected positive change within the power transmission/motion control industry. This year’s recipient of the Wendy B. McDonald Award is C.C. Vest of Midpoint Bearing.

Vest began her bearing and power transmission career in 1979 at Bearings & Drives. Hired as an office clerk, she gained favor with the branch manager by conducting any and all tasks required to advance her understanding of her role in the industry. It was a short time before she was promoted to assistant manager followed by a new job in sales for a bearing manufacturer/rebuilder company.

In 1985, Vest became the co-founder of a new bearing distribution company called Midpoint Bearing. Vest was instrumental in creating a business strategy in which the company focused on supplying bearings to the electric motor repair industry. Additionally, Midpoint Bearing found success with a local steel mill. Vest oversaw the account with determination, making Midpoint Bearing a local company to reckon with and respect.

In her career, Vest navigated the power transmission industry with a never-give attitude and determination that helped blaze a trail leading to the acceptance of women salespeople in the bearing industry.

In an interview with PTDA Foundation Program Director Mary Jawgiel, Vest offered the following advice for women going into the field, “Do the best you can, be true to your values and remember integrity is everything.”

The award was presented to Vest during the PTDA Virtual Industry Summit.

The PTDA has also named Bill Childers the 29th recipient of its Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry.

Childers received the award, named for PTDA’s co-founder and first president, during the PTDA Virtual Industry Summit. The award was established in 1984 to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry and is only presented when an individual’s achievements merit this prestigious recognition. Warren Pike Award recipients are selected by the PTDA board of directors.

He spent the first 25 years of his career as vice president of sales for Emerson Power Transmission. He then moved on to other roles including president of NSK Canada in 2002 and president of North American sales for Rexnord in 2008. In 2015, Childers joined Affiliated Distributors where he served as vice president and managing director, overseeing the launch of AD’s power transmission division.

During his career, he also devoted his time volunteering for various PTDA committees including serving as Manufacturer Council Chair in 2006 and PTDA Foundation president in 2010. He also served on the PTDA Board of Directors in 2013.

He thanked the board for the award and members who helped him throughout his career. Childers commented, “Getting involved with PTDA was probably the best decision I made in my 47 years in the PT business. It’s all about relationships. You can firm those up while interacting at PTDA events and that translates to your business relationships.”


Names Costa President of Mechanical Power Transmission Division

ABB recently named company veteran Roger Costa as president of its global Mechanical Power Transmission Division, also known as the Dodge business.

“ABB’s recognition as a global leader in the mechanical business stems from a strong culture that focuses on customer experience,” Costa said. “I look forward to joining a team that values that culture. Together, we will work to continue to develop and grow markets for our superior products.”

With more than 17 years of experience at ABB, Costa has held executive roles in both the US and Canada. During his tenure at ABB, Costa has gained considerable knowledge of the company’s extensive operations ranging from mechanical to motors and robotics. Costa’s unique perspective brings valuable insight to ABB’s leadership team.

Costa has a bachelor’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Humber College and completed an advanced university program in business management at the University of Toronto-Roman School of Management. Costa will be based in Greenville, South Carolina.

Established in the United States in 1878, the Dodge business today is considered the leading manufacturer of mounted bearing, enclosed gearing, and power transmission components in the nation.


Hires Vice President of Sales

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America is pleased to announce and welcome J. Scott Knoy as the new vice president of sales for the Wixom, Michigan based Machine Tool Division. Knoy will be responsible for sales team leadership, driving revenue, strategic planning and marketing, as well as management responsibilities.

Knoy brings 26 years of experience in the gear machine and tooling industry. His career includes 12 years with the Gleason-Pfauter organization working as a regional sales manager in both the tooling and machinery sales groups and 14 years with GMTA (American-Wera) where he served as the vice president of sales, vice president and president.

“Scott has an impressive background in sales and executive management within the gear machine industry,” says Atsuhiro Kawaguchi, general manager of the Mitsubishi Machine Tool Division. “Scott will aggressively lead our sales team and I believe with his leadership we will overcome this unforeseen market condition.”

Knoy who resides in Howell, MI is married (Holly) and has 2 adult children (Kelsey, Karlyn). His education includes an MBA from Lawrence Technological University as well as a bachelor degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Additionally, Knoy served as a combat engineering officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for 10 years.

He will be replacing long standing Senior Vice President Tom Kelly. Kelly began his career in the machine tool business in 1987 when he started selling Mitsubishi Machine Tools for a local dealer. Two years later, he joined Mitsubishi International Corporation (the importer for MHI). After more than ten years of local success, he approached Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America with a proposal to eliminate the existing dealer network and take over all sales and service responsibilities for North America. Tom will be retiring at the end of December, and will move with his wife Cayce to their home in North Carolina.

Bearing World

Produces Numerous Highlights for Klingelnberg

This year’s Bearing World exhibition took place for the first time as a virtual event from October 19–23 2020. Virtual event organizer Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V. (FVA) provided a platform of exchange focusing on bearing types and all the components involved. Klingelnberg presented as a sponsoring partner with a virtual exhibition concept that combined various forms of digital content and live chats with Klingelnberg experts.

The event host counted more than 1,100 participants in total. Top speakers from the roller bearing and applied industry and leading research institutions presented talks on a broad range of topics. Interested attendees also had the opportunity to get to know the various companies on a virtual tour of the exhibition. The online information offering included product videos and other ways to download detailed documentation, among many other things. Throughout the five-day event, Klingelnberg experts in roller bearing measurement technology — Dr. Christof Gorgels (head of precision measuring centers product line), Holger Haybach (product management, precision measuring centers), and Stefan Staab (business development) — were on hand for live chats.

“Bearing World is a fantastic platform for showcasing our expertise in the area of bearing measurement technology and our Klingelnberg Done-in-One measurement solutions,” noted Staab in summarizing the event. “We are already looking forward to continuing our dialog with event attendees.”

SKF and Imperial College London

Extend R&D Partnership

SKF, founded in 1907 and Imperial College London, involved in tribology research since 1948, are extending their R&D partnership. The SKF University Technology Centre (UTC) has been housed at Imperial College London since 2010 and has delivered research that helps bearings perform better and longer, whilst also contributing to lower energy consumption in the machines they operate in. This work will now continue until 2025.

Dr. Kenred Stadler, SKF’s R&D Collaboration Manager, said: “Tight collaboration between leading academia and R&D-driven companies like SKF is key to increasing the speed of innovation in industry.”

“Through our relationship with Imperial College London, which first started in the 1970s, we will drive both short-term, agile projects lasting a few months as well as longer-term Ph.D. projects,” he added.

Students involved in the SKF UTC at Imperial College London have an opportunity to work with some of the industry’s most unique test facilities, including a novel sapphire bearing rig that enables the in-situ observation of bearing lubrication.

Prof. Dr. Guillermo Morales, Principal Scientist at SKF, said: “The bearing industry has so many fantastic research opportunities. It’s great to partner with universities like Imperial College London to make sure some of the brightest minds out there apply their skills to the field of tribology. Collectively, we will be able to think outside the box to make even greater advancements.”

“By better understanding the theory behind tribology-related failure mechanisms, we can design better and more efficient bearings. Working in close partnership with Imperial College London, our R&D teams in Houten, Netherlands, can greatly increase the speed at which this work can be conducted,” Morales said.

The article "Industry News" appeared in the December 2020 issue of Power Transmission Engineering.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Bearing World
Imperial College London