MRO Magazine

News and views about companies, staff, products and more (April 01, 2001)

Four companies which manufacture a wide range of industrial products are teaming up to create an on-line exchange to allow their distributors to purchase products from them. Rockwell Automation, Timke...

April 1, 2001 | By MRO Magazine

Four companies which manufacture a wide range of industrial products are teaming up to create an on-line exchange to allow their distributors to purchase products from them. Rockwell Automation, Timken, INA Holding Schaeffler of Germany, and the SKF Group of Sweden are launching CoLinx, a company that will run an Internet web site for their distributors. Other manufacturers are being asked to join the exchange. Don Louis, director of e-business at Rockwell Automation, will serve as president of CoLinx.

The companies will sell seals, bearings, monitoring equipment, electric motors, gear motors, speed reducers, couplings, v-belts, clutches, brakes, variable speed drive controls, and lubricants.

A spokesperson said that it will be crucial to the success of the venture to link the site to others in order to expand the opportunity. While limited in scope, with only four suppliers, the combination could prove powerful, particularly within the discrete industry and also for asset management, he added.

Like Rockwell’s earlier, spun-off venture, SourceAlliance (which was in trouble and is being restructured), CoLinx recognizes the critical role of the middleman/distributor, and gives them the ability to use the Internet through Co-Linx to better serve the end customer.


Also, Rockwell is aggressively moving into the Asset Management arena, having acquired the condition monitoring company, Entek, and partnering with MRO Software (formerly PSDI). SKF also has a condition monitoring service solution for companies that use its bearings. An asset management solution may be created between Rockwell and SKF, and offered through the CoLinx site.

A subway system maintenance lift designed for a municipal transit authority has been developed by Pentalift Equipment of Guelph, Ont. Engineered to raise and lower a subway passenger car to facilitate scheduled maintenance, the lift features a 54-ft long tri-pantograph design for stability. The lift deck incorporates a subway track for easy loading and unloading of the car. Further information is available by calling 519-763-3625 or visiting the web site at

Burlington, Ont.-based S.B. Simpson Group, a regional distributor of industrial supplies and equipment in Ontario, has completed the second phase of its acquisition of Jackson-Robson Industrials of Oshawa, Ont., purchasing all of its remaining shares and turning it into a wholly owned subsidiary. S.B. Simpson Group first purchased 50% of Jackson-Robson in 1997.

Lapp Canada of Brampton, Ont., has announced that Intech Solutions of Richmond, B.C., has been appointed as manufacturer’s agent for its cables and connectors in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Intech Solutions can be reached at 604-244-1451, or by fax at 604-244-1461. Lapp Canada may be contacted toll-free at 877-799-5277.

BarCode Express of Mississauga, Ont., has been named the Canadian distributor of the Cipher Lab product range made by Syntech Information Company, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of automatic identification and data collection products. The line includes scanners, slot readers, mag strip readers and programmable data terminals and accessories. BarCode Express will maintain a repair and service centre.

In a move intended to expand its offering in automation technologies, Schneider Electric has acquired Steeplechase Software, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. The acquisition enables Schneider to provide an organization that can build the flexible products and services required by PC-based industrial customers. For more information, contact Schneider Canada at 416-615-3406.

BNA U.S. has announced the opening of a full service facility in Lafayette, Ind. This facility is the U.S. headquarters for assembly and warehousing, as well as customer service and technical assistance. BNA Bonfiglioli North America assembles power transmission products in Concord, Ont. For more information, call 905-738-4466.

MEP Drives of Mississauga, Ont., has been named Advantage Stocking Distributor in Ontario for Wausau, Wisc.-based Marathon Electric’s HVAC and agricultural electric motor products. Contact MEP for a copy of catalogue SB330, covering its full line of HVAC and refrigeration AC motors, toll-free at tel. 888-812-7788; or by fax at 905-812-7788. The company’s web site is at

Fluke Electronics Canada of Mississauga, Ont., has named Montreal-based Primo Instrument a Canadian authorized distributor. Under the terms of the agreement, Primo, which for more than 10 years has been serving the industrial, utility, HVAC and electrical sectors, will be providing sales, service and support for Fluke, Pomona, Agilent and Wavetek product lines. For more information on Primo, visit the web site at For Fluke product details, visit the web site at

In a move to enhance continued growth within its product line, the Oakville, Ont., based interconnect manufacturer Wieland Electric has reorganized its North American operation. As part of the reorganization, Fred Maderich was appointed president of Wieland Electric Canada. Previously, Maderich was general manager of Wieland’s Canadian operation. In addition, Carl E. Gruenberg was named president of Wieland Electric U.S. The company’s web site is located at

IFS and ABB Automation have formed an alliance to integrate and market solutions blending ABB’s Industrial IT platform with IFS business applications. Under the partnership, IFS software components for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) will be integrated with process control solutions from ABB Automation. Customers will be provided with seamless, remote optimization of both production and maintenance management, reducing reliance on physical equipment inspection and improving availability of plant assets. For more information visit the web site at, or call IFS North America at 520-512-2000.

In order to accommodate production of its new Torque-Arm II speed reducer, Rockwell Automation has completed a major expansion at its Dodge gearing manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. In addition to increased space, the expansion allows for the installation of new equipment and the implementation of processes designed to further improve the facility’s productivity. For more information, call 864-281-2171.

A new sensor developed to facilitate energy conservation in steel production has had a successful one-week prototype trial. The laser-based system, which measures the composition of gases exiting a steel-melting furnace, recently was installed in an electric arc furnace at The Timken Company’s Faircrest steel plant in Canton, Ohio. The ability to measure gas composition will allow optimization of combustion and energy use in the furnace. Timken is hosting plant trials for this energy-reduction project, which is sponsored by the American Iron and Steel Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. The benefits of this new sensor are expected to include a 2% increase in energy efficiency and a 10% improvement in productivity.

Toronto-based Ontor has been appointed a distributor for Eurobex Manufacturing, which produces a line of electrical/electronic enclosures, from contractor pull boxes and bus bar troughs to modular 19-in. stainless steel interface enclosures. The company has branches in Ontario in Sudbury, Windsor, Waterloo and Hamilton, in Alberta in Edmonton and Calgary, and in Quebec in Montreal and Quebec City. For more information, contact Ontor, tel. 416-781-5286.

Toromont Industries Ltd., Toronto, has purchased Quality Compressor Services Ltd. of Red Deer, Alta. Quality Compressor
services, supplies and maintains gas compression equipment for the natural gas industry in western Canada. It also provides rebuild and overhaul services for natural gas engines, components and accessories. Branch operations are located in Fort St. John, B.C., and in Drumheller and Edmonton, Alta. Toromont supplies construction equipment and power, refrigeration and process systems in Canada and the United States.

Canadian Crane & Hoist Mfg. Ltd.’s new manufacturing facility in Barrie, Ont., comprises a 24,000-sq-ft area divided into two bays, each with 60-ft crane span and 24-ft clear height, including 4,000 sq ft of office space and four 11-ton cranes (two per bay). The high-end crane company exhibited at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago in March 2001, where it received many leads from potential U.S. customers. For more information, call 705-726-5951 or visit

Avon Bearings, located in Avon, Ohio, has undertaken a manufacturing expansion. Construction is under way on a plant addition to house a manufacturing cell capable of producing large-diameter turntable bearings and slewing rings up to 6.1 m or 240 in. in diameter. The expansion is expected to be completed in the spring of 2001 and the cell operational in the second or third quarter of the year. The increased capacity will give the company one of the largest capabilities in the world. For more information, call 440-871-2500.


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