After about two years of being acquired by the Switzerland-based ABB group, Baldor Electric Company opened its doors to some of its manufacturing facilities in the southern US to show the recent investments made in the company’s operations, as well as reveal the responsibilities and opportunities given to them by its new parent company. The acquisition was completed on Jan. 27, 2011.
Baldor discussed changes that have taken place since the acquisition and provided an update on current and future plans for its business.
It was noted that Baldor’s Dodge products (brought under the company’s wing in a 2007 acquisition) were built in the 1880’s in North America and Baldor itself was founded in 1920 in the US. It now has 21 manufacturing plants in the US alone. It also has facilities in Canada, Mexico, England and China.
Its parent company, ABB, has aggressive plans for growth over the next three years, with the intention to grow from a $40-billion company to one doing $60 billion by the end of 2015. The tour was organized to show how ABB has invested in Baldor to help support this goal.
The first facility visited was the recently-expanded roller bearing plant in Marion, NC, which opened in 1996. The 256,000-sq-ft facility has 135 employees who produce both spherical and tapered roller bearings. The plant made a $14 million investment in 2009 to produce its own inserts for housing these bearings. The plant was recently expanded by 96,000 sq ft with a $2-million investment by ABB.
Next on the tour was the Shelby, NC, motor plant, which was a new acquisition by the company and started producing motors in June 2012. This facility has 259,000 sq ft and is now the global centre for ABB’s DMI-generation DC motor production.
The Kings Mountain, NC, motor plant, which produces the second-largest motors Baldor offers, was next on the tour. This plant produces four motor products, including Baldor-Reliance nameplates.
The tour made it quite clear that all is well at Baldor and that ABB is continuing to invest in the company for the future…