MRO Magazine

Bearing maker announces major investment to accelerate product development and line expansion

Canton, OH -- The Timken Company says it has fundamentally redesigned its engineering, product management and business systems teams, bringing together talent and tools in a new way to drive development of its product lines and advance its...

Canton, OH — The Timken Company says it has fundamentally redesigned its engineering, product management and business systems teams, bringing together talent and tools in a new way to drive development of its product lines and advance its technical capabilities to better meet customer needs.

“We’ve been the tapered roller bearing experts since our founding,” said Richard G. Kyle, president and CEO of The Timken Company. “Over the past decade, we’ve leveraged that expertise to successfully expand into other types of bearings. Today we’re announcing a major move taking us more deeply and more broadly into our targeted market space, a move intended to firmly position us among our customers as a full-line leader in industrial bearings and power transmission products and services.”

Timken says it is the world’s leading manufacturer of tapered roller bearings. In recent years, Timken has added spherical, cylindrical and housed bearings as well as transmissions, chain, augers, lubrication systems, gearboxes and a host of power system rebuild and repair services, mostly through acquisitions.

Kyle said that the company is committing US$60 million to its DeltaX Initiative, a multi-year investment designed to dramatically improve the company’s concept-to-commercialization efforts. “Through DeltaX, we’re integrating Timken talent, technology and tools in a way that will allow us to be even more agile and competitive,” said Kyle.


“From design to delivery, a more product-focused infrastructure, supported with new customer-facing systems, will replace our traditional functional structure. We believe this new, more collaborative design, the first step in our initiative, will allow us to execute even better on our strategy to grow, delivering to the marketplace much faster and more efficiently those products that customers value.”

Starting with the appointment of three senior-level product line executives and a new research and development leader, the company sees DeltaX as one means to help it accelerate growth and further strengthen the organization’s ability to capture strategic opportunities that address customers’ needs.

Newly appointed Timken veterans will drive three focused product growth streams, strategically aligning product management, development and design with production operations. The three product growth streams and the respective product line executives at the heart of the DeltaX Initiative are as follows.

Tapered Roller Bearings, led by Douglas H. Smith; Industrial Bearings, which includes the broader range of spherical, cylindrical, thrust and large diameter tapered bearings, led by Amanda J. Montgomery; and Power Transmission and Engineering Systems, focusing on the expanded portfolio of housed units, ball bearings, chain, couplings and related products, including seals, lubrication and monitoring equipment, led by Hans Landin.

Also, Research and Development will be driven by Dr. Stephen P. Johnson, who will lead a team focused on process and product technology, materials, prototypes, metrology and testing. The R&D group will support the product line leaders with technology fundamentals and services.

“Doug, Amanda, Hans and Steve have extensive knowledge of our products and the marketplace, and their proven ability to foster change and drive results that create value make them particularly well-suited for these new roles,” said Christopher Coughlin, group president, who set the project in motion several months ago and to whom the product line executives will report.

“We’re organizing for speed and focus and expect DeltaX to ensure we work on and invest in what matters most to our customers and ultimately to our shareholders.” The new configuration will change the way nearly 400 employees work, as well as how they interface with colleagues and customers, impacting teams located at the new world headquarters in North Canton, OH, and the company’s other three key engineering centres in China, India and Romania.

Coughlin noted that the company expects to increase the number of new products and features the company introduces to the market by approximately 30%, and that nearly 200 engineers and related technical resources will be hired over the next three years to help fuel development of newly designed products and processes. “We expect the increased accountability for growth and profitability as well as acceleration of development activity to be an exceptional investment,” he said.


Dr. Stephen P. Johnson, director of research and development, holds a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing systems and a doctorate in advanced grinding technology, both from Coventry University in the United Kingdom. He previously served in several technology related director level roles from 2006 to 2014. Dr. Johnson joined Timken in 1975 as a technical apprentice and subsequently held several operational roles gaining experience in research and development, specializing in precision machine tool metrology and ultra-high speed grinding systems. In addition, Dr. Johnson served eight years with the company’s aerospace business. An active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Dr. Johnson is a member of the board of editors of IRI’s Research and Technology Management journal and on the advisory board of the Materials and Manufacturing Center at Penn State University

Hans Landin, product line executive of power transmission and engineering systems, previously was appointed to lead the business advancement group focused on the key activities in the organization that foster growth. Previously, he served as director of original equipment, wind energy and global rail respectively. Landin joined Timken in 1996 and held various sales positions in Europe until he relocated to the United States as regional manager of industrial original equipment sales in 2002. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Chalmers University in Sweden.

Amanda J. Montgomery, product line executive of industrial bearings, previously served as director of marketing and product management and manager of global product management for Process Industries. Before leading the global team, she was a product manager for multiple product lines. Since joining Timken in 1998, she has held a number of engineering roles and served as an expert in the company’s former Lean6Sigma program. Montgomery holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio Northern University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ashland University.

Douglas H. Smith, product line executive of tapered roller bearings, most recently served as senior vice-president and chief technology officer for the company. Previously, Smith worked in China serving as director of manufacturing for Asia. Smith joined Timken at the company’s Technology Center in Canton, OH, in 1991, and has held a number of additional research, development, manufacturing and management positions during his 23-year tenure. Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and eight patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH, and the Industrial Research Institute in Arlington, VA.