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Timken forms bearing component joint venture with two Japanese companies

Canton, Ohio -- July 2, 2002 -- The Timken Company has entered into a joint venture to supply forged and machined r...


Canton, Ohio — July 2, 2002 — The Timken Company has entered into a joint venture to supply forged and machined rings for bearing manufacture with two Japan-based companies, Sanyo Special Steel Co. Ltd. and Showa Seiko Co. Ltd.

The joint venture, Advanced Green Components LLC, will operate as an independent manufacturing business. It will acquire the assets of Timken’s Winchester, Kentucky, plant and will receive an increased investment in technology and equipment.

The joint venture lessens asset intensity by adding to capacity without investing in a new physical plant, reports Timken. The facility, which employs approximately 50 people, opened in 1997 and focuses on producing hot forged and machined rings.

“This important initiative continues our transformation, which began more than two years ago,” said Karl P. Kimmerling, president of Timken’s automotive group. “A major building block is the manufacturing strategy that we launched early in 2001, positioning the company as a much more cost-effective manufacturer. On bearing cups and cones, for certain high-volume applications, forgings achieve significant material savings and reduced machining because the components are closer to the shape and size of the final product. As a result, bearing manufacturing speed and efficiency increase.

Masahito Ueno, president of Showa Seiko Co. Ltd., noted that the joint venture is a logical extension of the existing business relationship between Timken and his company and builds on their proven capabilities. “Showa Seiko is currently supplying green-machined pieces, made from forgings, to Timken plants around the world. At the same time, the Winchester Plant is producing and supplying forgings and green-machined pieces to Timken bearing plants in the United States.”

“Our capital investment in the joint venture will enable more of the most technologically advanced forging and machining equipment to be installed,” said Kunihiko Bando, chairman of the board, representative director of Sanyo Special Steel Co. Ltd. “Leveraging our investment with the competencies of both Timken and Showa Seiko is truly a winning combination. All three companies are industry leaders, and this joint venture will strengthen each company and help them to maintain their global competitiveness.”

The joint venture will be operational in the third quarter 2002. Over the next two years, the plant’s floor space will increase by nearly 16,000 sq ft and additional forming and machining equipment will be installed. Forged ring production is expected to more than double.

Sanyo Special Steel Co. Ltd., headquartered in Himeji, Japan, is a manufacturer of high-quality bearing steels with 2001 sales of US$588 million.

Showa Seiko Co. Ltd. is a metalworking business that specializes in the forging, forming and machining of bearing and automotive components. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, it reported 2001 sales of US$43.5 million.