Three GGB Plants Mark Milestone Anniversaries

Out of the ten global manufacturing facilities the bearing manufacturer operates, three of its European operations are now celebrating up to 40 years of excellent quality and service.

Three of GGB Bearing Technology’s (GGB; Thorofare, NJ) ten manufacturing facilities are marking milestone anniversaries this year. The company’s plants in Heilbronn, Germany, and Dieuze, France, were established 40 years ago, and its plant in Sučany, Slovakia, opened ten years ago.

The Heilbronn plant was originally owned by ihg-Gleitlager GmbH, a distributor for UK-based Glacier Metal Company’s DU® and DX® bearings, and manufacturer of custom products for special applications. It subsequently underwent a number of changes in ownership before becoming part of GGB in 2002.

Today, the 5,000 m2 (54,000 sq ft) facility manufactures metal-polymer plain bearings for Europe’s automotive and general industrial markets. It is certified to the ISO 9001 standard for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, ISO/TS 16949 for quality management in the automotive supply chain, OHSAS 18001 for health and safety management and ISO 50001 for energy management. In addition, the plant is certified to supply Rolls Royce with bearings for use in its jet engines.

“Many of our employees have been here 20 or more years,” said plant manager Lutz Staiger. “But, we also have a good mix of ages, with 60-year-olds working side by side with 25-year-olds and 30-year-olds. This is important for the transfer of knowledge and skills, and a good experience for our older and younger employees alike.”

The Dieuze plant was also established under the ownership of a different company, in this case Associated Engineering Group Ltd., which owned the Glacier Metal Co. Dieuze manufactures aluminum alloy bushing blocks and assemblies for fluid power applications in the automotive and industrial markets.

The world’s leading supplier of these products, Dieuze recently installed new, state-of-the-art machinery and a production cell that allows operators to run two machines simultaneously and produce 150 parts of various sizes with optimal repeatability and quality. The plant is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/TS 16949 and OHSAS 18001.

The Sučany plant opened in 2004, consolidating production from GGB facilities in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and Dolný Kubín, Slovakia. Today, the 9,000 m2 (97,000 sq ft) facility produces metal-polymer bearings, bushing blocks and high-precision assemblies for the automotive, fluid power and industrial markets in Eastern Europe. It is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/TS 16949, ISO 18001 and ISO 50001.

“Production at Sučany has doubled in the past four years, reflecting greater efficiency in our operations and continuing recovery in our major markets,” said the plant manager Robert Paskuliak. “Significantly, employee safety has not been compromised with this increase in productivity. In fact, we have been named one of the ten safest companies in Slovakia.”

In addition to these plants, GGB’s global production platform includes manufacturing facilities in Thorofare, NJ; Chicago, IL; Barueri, Brazil; Annecy, France; Sinsheim-Hilsbach, Germany; and Suzhou, China.