Timken Company

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The Timken Company
Industry Manufacturing
Founded St. Louis, Missouri USA, 1899
Founder Henry Timken
Headquarters Canton, Ohio, United States
Number of locations
194 (94 offices, 64 plants, 13 warehouses/distribution centers, 13 shopping centers, 10 tech engineer centers)[1]
Area served
Key people
Ward J. Timken (Chairman of the Board of Directors), Richard G. Kyle (President & CEO)
Products Alloy
Bars & BilletsBearings
Revenue DecreaseUS$ 4.99 billion (FY 2012)[3]
DecreaseUS$ 692.9 million (FY 2012)[3]
IncreaseUS$ 495.5 million (FY 2012)[3]
Total assets DecreaseUS$ 4.24 billion (FY 2012)[3]
Total equity IncreaseUS$ 2.23 billion (FY 2012)[3]
Number of employees
Website www.timken.com

The Timken Company is a global manufacturer of bearings, and related components and assemblies.[4] Timken operates in 30 countries and territories.

Company overview[edit]

The Timken Company designs, manufactures, sells and services anti-friction bearings and assemblies and mechanical power transmission systems, as well as related products and services. The company has four operating segments: Mobile Industries, Process Industries, Aerospace and Defense, and, until June 30, 2014,[5] Steel.

Mobile Industries provides bearings, mechanical power transmission components, drive- and roller chains, augers, and related products and services to automotive and heavy-truck aftermarket distributors, as well as to original-equipment manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural, construction and mining equipment; passenger cars; light trucks; medium- and heavy-duty trucks; rail cars, and locomotives.

This business segment produces mechanical components found in commercial vehicles, light trucks, passenger cars, farm tractors, combines, haul trucks, draglines, shovels, continuous miners, longwall shearers, loaders, excavators, compactors, crawler dozers, locomotives, freight and passenger cars, and high-speed rail systems.

Process Industries manufactures bearings, mechanical power transmission components, industrial chain, and related products and services for original-equipment manufacturers and suppliers of power transmission, energy and heavy industries machinery and equipment. This includes rolling mills, cement and aggregate processing equipment, paper mills, sawmills, printing presses, cranes, hoists, drawbridges, wind energy turbines, gear drives, drilling equipment, coal conveyors, coal crushers, and marine and food processing equipment. This segment also serves the aftermarket through its global network of authorized industrial distributors.

Process Industries’ product applications include: heavy-duty mining equipment, cement crushers, grinding mills, coal crushers, pulverizers, conveyors, screens, wind energy turbines, rolling and continuous casting steel mills, paper mills, paper processing, equipment for forest products, gear drives, drawbridges, heavy movable structures, oil and gas drilling equipment, pumps, compressors and food processing systems.

Aerospace and Defense makes bearings, helicopter transmission systems, rotor head assemblies, turbine engine components, gears and other precision flight-critical components for commercial and military aviation applications and provides aftermarket services, including repair and overhaul of engines, transmissions and fuel controls; aerospace bearing repair; and component reconditioning. Additionally, this segment manufactures precision bearings, higher-level assemblies and sensors for manufacturers of health and positioning control equipment.

Applications for this segment include: gas turbine engines and gearboxes, helicopter transmission systems, rotor systems, auxiliary power units, landing gear, instrumentation, guidance systems, spaceflight systems, sensor chips/encoders, medical imaging, motion control systems, machine tools and semiconductor manufacturing.

Timken is a member of World Bearing Association (WBA), a non-profit and unincorporated industrial association promoting the common interests of the world bearing industry, such as open economic engagement, sustainable development and the protection of legal rights of companies.[6]

Company history[edit]

Further information: Timken Roller Bearing Company

The company was founded by Henry Timken in St. Louis in 1899 and incorporated as The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company. In 1898, Henry Timken obtained a patent for the tapered roller bearing.

Tapered roller bearings were a breakthrough at the end of the 19th century because bearings used in wheel axles had not changed much since ancient times. They relied on bearings enclosed in a case that held lubricants. These were called "friction bearings" and depended on lubricants to function. Without proper lubrication, these bearings would fail due to excessive heat caused by friction. Timken was able to reduce the friction on his bearings significantly by using a "cup" and "cone" design incorporating tapered bearings that actually rolled, which reduced the load placed on the bearings by distributing the weight and load evenly across the cups, cones and bearings.

In 1901, the company moved to Canton, Ohio, as the automobile industry began to overtake the carriage industry. Timken and his two sons chose this location because of its proximity to the American car manufacturing centers of Detroit and Cleveland and the American steel-making centers of Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

In 1917, the company began its steel- and tube-making operations in Canton to vertically integrate and maintain better control over the steel used in its bearings. World War I had created an increase in demand for steel, affecting its supply and price in the market.[7] Poor quality steel from suppliers was another important issue; so, the company felt the need to make its own steel to ensure the supply and subsequent quality of its bearing products.

The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company was one of the first to introduce roller bearings for railroad cars. Railroad cars owned and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway were some of the first to use roller bearings rather than "oil waste journal" boxes.

Also, Santa Fe was the first company to have roller bearing trucks made by Timken under its passenger cars. Timken commissioned the construction of a demonstration boxcar in 1943 that was first seen at the 1948 Chicago Rail Fair. It was a rolling advertisement for a new way of reducing friction using roller bearings. The car's trucks lacked the then-common axle journal boxes, with the bearings mounted on the ends of the axles outside the wheels.

The first locomotive to use roller bearings made by Timken was Timken 1111, a 4-8-4 built by Alco in 1930. Though the locomotive ran on 14 different railroads, the locomotive was tested on 13 American railroads for demonstration runs and was purchased in 1933 by the Northern Pacific Railroad, the last railroad to try the specially-built locomotive. It operated in regular service on the NP until it was retired in 1957 and then scrapped.

Some UK steam locomotives also used roller bearings. The LMS Turbomotive was fitted with Timken roller bearings, and they also were retrofitted to some of the LMS Coronation class.[8]

A split in the company happened on June 30, 2014 at the urging of shareholders. The roller bearing producing part of the company split from the steel producing part of the company, resulting in two separate companies.[5] The Timken Company continues to manufacture roller bearings, while TimkenSteel produces steel.

British Timken offices and works in Northampton, England in 2001 prior to demolition a few years later.

British Timken[edit]

British Timken was established in Chester Road, Aston, Birmingham in 1937, to manufacture tapered roller, parallel roller and ball bearings.

In World War II a shadow factory was built in 1941 on a green-field site at Duston in Northamptonshire, to produce roller bearings. At its peak over 4,000 people were employed in the factory. In 2002 the Duston works were closed and the site cleared for housing with production moving to Poland.[9][10]

Present-day operations[edit]

In 2003 the company acquired its largest domestic competitor in the bearing business—The Torrington Company of Torrington, Connecticut. In 2007 it acquired the Purdy Corporation of Manchester, Connecticut. Renamed Timken Aerospace Transmissions, it is part of the Timken Aerospace & Defense division headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The company also manufactured test equipment for various purposes, including properties of lubricating oil. This resulted in the company lending its name to the industry standard Timken OK Load metric.

Timken has been present in India since 1987 and has a production facility in the city of Jamshedpur. Additionally, Timken also has an IT support center in Bangalore. [11] [12]

Notable partnerships[edit]


  1. ^ "Locations". Timken Company. 
  2. ^ "Products". Timken Company. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Timken Co. (TKR)". Yahoo! Finance. 
  4. ^ About Us
  5. ^ a b Pritchard, Edd (June 30, 2014). "Canton Repository". Retrieved Oct 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ World Bearing Association
  7. ^ The Timken Company: Information and Much More from Answers.com
  8. ^ Stanier locomotives on steamindex.com
  9. ^ British Industrial History accessed 1 January 2012
  10. ^ British Timken to axe 950 jobs BBC News 26 April 2001, accessed 1 January 2012
  11. ^ http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-11-12/news/35067221_1_stock-market-timken-india-growth-path
  12. ^ http://www.timken.com/en-in/about/timkeninindia/Pages/Home.aspx
  13. ^ Bloomberg News Release

External links[edit]