MRO Magazine

Timken gives Eiffel Tower visitors a lift

Colmar, France -- After helping transport more than 160 million passengers in an Eiffel Tower elevator, 40-year-old...


Colmar, France — After helping transport more than 160 million passengers in an Eiffel Tower elevator, 40-year-old Timken bearings were recently replaced with new Timken bearings.

The company that manages the monument, Societe Nouvelle d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, contracted CMD, a century-old French manufacturer of reducers, to inspect and rebuild the elevator on the north pillar. The 40-ton speed reducer (36-metric-ton) in that elevator, which was installed in 1965, required material upgrades, lubrication and general maintenance to meet the latest industry standards.

“The six Timken bearings — each with a diameter of 25 inches (634 mm) — removed from the reducer’s pulleys and shafts were in excellent condition,” says Didier Nourrissier, customer maintenance manager – CMD. “They had been in operation for more than 40 years and were still in good working order.”

A Timken engineering team in Colmar, France, analyzed the bearings and replaced them with new bearings. “The new tapered bearings are more technologically advanced, packaging more power into the same size bearing. The new Timken bearings will help the elevator run dependably and quietly for a very long time,” says Pierre Kocher, global marketing manager – power transmission for Timken.

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French engineer, Gustave Eiffel, built the Eiffel Tower in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition and Centennial in Paris, France. Including the antenna, the tower rises to 1063 feet (324 meters) in three sections. Three elevators run from the ground to the second floor and another four take visitors from the second floor to the top. There also is a utility lift and an elevator reserved for the tower’s prestigious Jules Verne Restaurant. The tower’s seven elevators travel a distance of more than 6,800 miles (11,000 kilometers) annually.