Posted September 23, 2020

SKF to expand North American manufacturing

SKF is investing approximately $50 million in strengthening its manufacturing footprint and competitiveness in North America.

SKFThe company will spend approximately $28 million expand and automate manufacturing processes at the Group’s factory in Sumter, South Carolina, and an additional $23 million to bring manufacturing of Tapered Roller Bearings (TRBs) from China to an existing manufacturing site in Mexico. 

The technology upgrades, improved delivery times and greater flexibility will enable SKF to consolidate factories in Avon, Ohio and North Charleston, South Carolina, into its Sumter, South Carolina factory.

“These investments illustrate SKF’s commitment to better serving customers in the region and will improve both our flexibility and competitiveness," said John Schmidt, president, industrial sales, America. "While this is an essential step for SKF, we do not take decisions that impact our employees lightly. 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.”

Kent Viitanen, president of bearing operations, said the investments represent the next steps in developing regional manufacturing capabilities. "The investment in Sumter will be the first implementation of our automated manufacturing technologies within the slewing bearing cluster and we are very excited to be able to capitalize on the benefits it will bring,” he said.

The changes will take approximately 12 to18 months to implement and will result in a reduction in staff of approximately 115, with associated restructuring costs amounting to $4 million which will be accounted for during the third quarter of 2020.