Fluid Power Journal

SKF Moves Manufacturing from China to North America

Consolidations to cost 115 jobs

By Michael Degan, Fluid Power Journal Editor

SKF is moving the manufacturing of its tapered roller bearings from China to an existing manufacturing site in Mexico, the company said in a Sept. 22 press release.

According to the press release, the company will invest $23 million on the move from China to North America. The transfer supports SKF’s “regional manufacturing ambitions and will strengthen SKF’s North American product offering,” the statement said.

SKF is also investing approximately $28 million to expand and automate manufacturing at its factory in Sumter, South Carolina. The company will consolidate its factories in Avon, Ohio, and North Charleston, South Carolina, to the Sumter facility. The consolidation will result in a reduction in staff of approximately 115, SKF said.

The investments and consolidations announced in the press release will take 12 to 18 months to implement, the statement said. Associated restructuring costs amounting to $4 million will be accounted for during the third quarter of 2020, according to the press release.

The company’s investments in its manufacturing operations, totaling approximately $50 million, will strengthen “its manufacturing footprint and competitiveness in North America,” the press release said.

The investment in Sumter will be the first implementation of our automated manufacturing technologies within the slewing bearing cluster,” Kent Viitanen, president of bearing operations, said in the press release.

While this is an essential step for SKF, we do not take decisions that impact our employees lightly,” John Schmidt, president of industrial sales, Americas, said in the statement, “We are deeply appreciative of our employees in Avon and North Charleston, and we are committed to fully supporting them as they transition to roles outside SKF.”

SKF manufactures bearings and seals, and offers lubrication management, condition monitoring, and maintenance services.

For more information, visit www.skf.com.

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