May 22, 2024

Mr. Sanjay Koul, Managing Director, Timken – India, shares how their 120+ years of cross-industry experience contributes towards providing customers with innovative, best-in-class quality, efficient and sustainable engineered bearings.

What drives Timken’s focus on innovation in the industry, and how does the company ensure its investments align with customer needs?

At Timken, innovation starts with our customers. We collaborate closely with them to create new technical solutions or further improve on existing platforms. As a result, many of our engineered bearings and industrial motion products have been developed from our customer-centric approach. Timken has always been at the forefront when it comes to innovation and continuous improvement.

Please share insights into Timken’s range of brands and how it caters to diverse end markets and applications.

Over the decades, Timken has acquired several reputable brands through mergers &acquisitions. Collectively, these brands offer a deep and wide range of solutions in engineered bearings and industrial motion suited to the most challenging applications across diverse industrial segments such as renewable energy, automation,rail, aerospace, mining & mineral processing, automotive, and marine are to name a few.Timken has more than 120 years of leadership in engineered bearings. The company uses its deep R&D capabilities and engineering expertise to deliver consistent, reliable product performance tailored for the application.

In what ways does Timken’s 120+ years of cross-industry experience contribute to the company’s ability to create innovative solutions for various applications worldwide?

Timken has developed a wide array of industry-specific bearing solutions tailored to meet the unique requirements and challenges in various sectors. With a reputation for best-in-class quality, service and design, Timken® bearings feature precision tolerances, proprietary internal geometries, and premium materials. In the aerospace industry, Timken provides precision-engineered bearings for aircraft engines, landing gear systems, and flight control systems, where precision and reliability are paramount. Timken’s specialized automotive bearings contribute to vehicle performance and longevity in applications such as wheel hubs, transmissions, and differentials. For rail, Timken offers bearings designed to withstand the rigours of heavy loads, high speeds and harsh environmental conditions in locomotives, passenger trains and freight cars. In the mining and construction industry, Timken bearings endure extreme conditions, supporting equipment such as excavators and material handling systems. In renewable energy, Timken bearings ensure the reliability and efficiency of wind turbines. The company also provides solutions for highly demanding environments, such as the steel industry, paper and pulp processing, marine applications, as well as precision requirements of medical equipment. Timken’s industry-specific bearing solutions play a crucial role in maintaining performance, reliability and safety across a wide range of applications.

How does Timken’s role as an authority in friction management, metallurgy, and power transmission influence its approach to addressing the most challenging applications globally?

Timken R&D invests a significant amount of time in growing expertise in friction management, materials science, and mechanical power transmission. The group continues to advance new opportunities and new technologies, including emerging trends in digital manufacturing and automation, performance modelling, heat treatment technologies and advanced lubrication science. One of the key drivers of growth for Timken is its consistent introduction of new products. Each year, we witness a range of product launches that cater to diverse markets and applications. These launches often involve innovative solutions to address emerging market needs.

Global collaboration plays a significant role in enhancing Timken’s R&D efforts in several ways. First, it allows Timken to tap into a diverse pool of talent and expertise from around the world. By collaborating with researchers and engineers from different regions and backgrounds, Timken can access a wider range of perspectives and innovative ideas, which can lead to breakthroughs in research and development. Second, global collaboration provides access to a broader set of resources and infrastructure. Additionally, global collaboration helps Timken stay at the forefront of emerging trends and technologies. Furthermore, global collaboration fosters innovation through the exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing. This collaborative learning accelerates innovation.

Could you provide examples of real-world impact resulting from Timken’s engineered bearings and industrial motion products, especially in powering renewable energy, transportation, and food production?

Timken bearing technology caters to the unique requirements of emerging trends including electric vehicles, lightweight, miniaturization and renewable energy. There are a variety of configurations for electric vehicles, and each of them has unique challenges and benefits. To meet the demands of electric vehicles, Timken’s high-efficiency bearings minimize friction, contributing to improved battery range and overall vehicle efficiency. Additionally, the company designs bearings with minimal maintenance needs, a critical feature for applications such as wind turbines in renewable energy, where maintenance accessibility can be challenging and costly.

Some of our recent developments include designing and supplying the ‘Gen3’ bearings for high-speed trains in India. The Gen3 bearing is an AP2 state-of-the-art design that uses the latest generation EcoTurn™ seal and polymer cage and is EN12080 compliant. For the automotive industry, we have designed matched set assemblies for heavy truck wheel ends and pinions eliminating customer pain areas related to bearing setting, low life, reduced productivity, need for skilled labour and inventory management.

Timken® split tapered roller bearing for wind main shaft rebuilds allows for the replacement of the main shaft bearing up-tower without the need for a mobile crane. Tapered roller bearings reduce thrust loads transmitted to the gearbox, delivering both significant cost savings and extending gearbox life.

What sets Timken apart in its authority in engineered bearings and industrial motion products, and how does the company continue to grow in these areas?

Timken is a global industrial leader in engineered bearings and industrial motion products. Timken applies its deep knowledge of metallurgy, tribology, and mechanical power transmission across a variety of bearings and related systems to improve the reliability and efficiency of machinery and equipment all around the world.

Superior product performance, consistent global quality standards, unmatched engineering expertise and vast solution-providing experience across geographies and markets are some of our biggest differentiators.Timken also supports customers with application know-how, design, lubrication and maintenance strategies.

Timken’s product and services portfolio for energy efficient systems and linear motion systems bear testimony to our expertise in these areas. From innovations in specialized industrial applications that gain customer confidence and result in major use, to service models that offer reliability and “Peace of Mind”, Timken expects to continue making a significant difference in the industrial and mobility sectors.

How does Timken’s recent acquisition of Engineered Solutions Group, particularly iMECH, contribute to the company’s capabilities, and what benefits does it bring to Timken’s offerings in the energy industry?

iMECH manufactures thrust bearings, radial bearings, speciality coatings and other components primarily used in the energy industry. The acquisition of iMECH allows us to build on our global leadership in engineered bearings by increasing our product breadth and providing exciting cross-selling opportunities. iMECH partners with the largest and most recognizable energy services companies, delivering highly engineered bearings for extremely demanding applications.

Looking ahead, what are Timken’s plans for further innovation and expansion in the ever-evolving landscape of engineered bearings and industrial motion products?

Innovation is an ongoing process. Timken continues to utilize its global pool of engineers and R&D capabilities to develop new products and solutions that meet the requirements of current as well as future industrial trends. Timken has remained a leader in diversification and portfolio expansion and shall continue its journey through strategic acquisitions and expansion of its product portfolio to clearly distinguish itself as an industry leader. In terms of capacity expansion, Timken is investing in a new manufacturing facility in Bharuch for cylindrical and spherical roller bearings.We broke ground for this project in May 2023 and plan to start production by early 2025. This plant represents a significant expansion of the company’s manufacturing presence in India and the strategy of investing and growing in automotive, off-highway and industrial products and markets that offer profitable growth. India has remained and will continue to be a significant hub for catering to export demand.