MRO Magazine

BSA to celebrate 40th anniversary at 2006 annual convention

Glen Ellyn, IL - Calling it the "Greatest Bearing Show on Earth," the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) will ho...

Glen Ellyn, IL – Calling it the “Greatest Bearing Show on Earth,” the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) will host its 2006 Annual Convention and 40th Anniversary Celebration April 22-25 at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla. Sarasota was the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, also known as the “Greatest Show on Earth.” It’s an apt location for the leaders of an industry whose products are distributed, installed and maintained 24/7 around in the word.

Traditionally the BSA Annual Convention provides an opportunity for authorized distributors to meet with their counterparts to discuss and find solutions to industry issues and to visit with policy-making executives of supplier companies. Distributors can make key contacts with the top executives of other specialist firms and with manufacturers. The 2006 Annual Convention has been carefully planned to maximize attendee opportunities to enhance these on-going relationships while developing new ones.


BSA was founded in 1966 by the merger of the former Anti-Friction Bearing Distributors Association and the Association of Bearing Distributors. Since then it has developed into the industry’s leading association of international authorized distributors of ball-, roller- and other anti-friction bearings and their participating manufacturers. Industry education, training, the crucial role of bearings within the greater manufacturing context, and the ability to nimbly respond to important industry issues have been hallmarks of BSA.


Together BSA members and participating manufacturers have developed a complete library of training materials, kept current with additions and revisions that reflect the technological changes in the industry; a variety of supply chain efficiencies including the Product & Price Information Format (PPIF) and Debit Credit Memo format that speed and refine the communications between members; and an industry-wide certification program that demonstrates the value these companies and their employees deliver to every transaction.

In addition to these initiatives, BSA continues to work hard with related industries and their associations to develop mutually beneficial programs and to continuously monitor issues of importance to its members and participating manufacturers.


Perhaps most importantly, BSA members and participating manufacturers have forged remarkable working relationships that now span generations. Twelve BSA member companies listed in the association’s first directory in 1966 continue to be active association members 40 years later. They are: Allied Bearings Supply Co., Inc.; Bay State Bearings Services, Inc.; Bearing Headquarters Company; Bearings & Drives, Inc.; Bearings Specialty Company; General Bearing Service, Inc.; General Bearings Company; IBT, Inc.; Jamaica Bearings Company, Inc.; Miller Bearings, Inc.; Minnesota Bearing Company; and Precision Industries.

The association has extended a special invitation to retired BSA members to join them once again in Sarasota. The convention website,, has added a webpage for retirees where they may link to special registration materials.

The convention website also honours the association’s 40-year history with two walks “down memory lane.” Website visitors can link to a list of former BSA leaders or view a pictorial time capsule — and relive the memories – of BSA conventions from the last 40 years.


As is always the case with BSA Annual Conventions, attendees find numerous informal networking opportunities within the framework of the business program. For many attendees, these less-formal, networking opportunities are the heart of their BSA experience. Attendees are able to meet and interact with industry associates otherwise unavailable to them.

Activities include the Opening Reception, the traditional golf and tennis events, as well as a manufacturer-hosted event. The Convention will wrap up with the traditional dinner dance.

BSA is an international service and educational organization of distributors representing more than 50 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings and 47 invited manufacturers of bearings and related products. The association’s mission says, “BSA is the forum to enhance networking and knowledge sharing and promote the sale of bearings through authorized distributors.”

For more information on BSA, contact the BSA office at (630) 858-3838; fax (630) 790-3095; email or visit the association website at