The Timken Company (NYSE:TKR) today announced that it has launched a fully integrated casting operation to produce precision aerospace aftermarket components at the company's new facility in Mesa, Ariz. Timken is now the only supplier in the aerospace aftermarket with the full capability to produce its own castings.
Installation of casting equipment at a facility that also includes design, machining, heat treating, finishing and testing operations uniquely positions Timken to produce precision parts under one roof. Timken relies on the casting process to manufacture turbine blades, vanes, nozzles and turbine engine hardware for the aerospace aftermarket.
"This strategic investment is another move to differentiate ourselves in how we bring value to customers," said Barry Stonehouse, general manager of Timken’s aerospace aftermarket solutions. "By drawing on Timken’s metallurgical expertise, we have further strengthened our leadership position in a market where other suppliers have been constrained by the need to rely on limited external casting sources."
The new operation employs investment casting, a process that is capable of producing near-net parts that need little, if any, final finishing. Investment casting uses an expendable wax pattern surrounded, or invested, by a ceramic shell. Removing the wax forms a mold with an extremely smooth surface and precise dimensional tolerance.
The Timken operation is staffed with managers and technicians who have many years of precision-casting experience.
"By bringing investment casting capability in-house, we attain better quality, and can participate more closely in the casting design process to optimize efficient manufacturing," said Pete Patriquin, operations manager at Mesa.
Because Timken no longer depends on third-party casting sources, the company has reduced production time by gaining total control over this critical raw material source. In addition, the size and technical breadth of the casting operation creates potential capacity to respond to future market growth and new product development.
The casting operation occupies 20,000 square feet, or nearly one-quarter of the 85,000-square-foot Mesa facility. The fully integrated customer solution center opened in October and the casting operation began production in December.
The Mesa facility more than doubled the capacity of Timken’s previous aftermarket operation in Gilbert, Ariz., which was vacated at the end of last year.
The Timken aerospace aftermarket solutions group is a leading supplier of direct replacement parts for gas turbine engines, components and systems used in the aviation industry. With principal facilities in Mesa and Tucson, Ariz., and Los Alamitos, Calif., Timken continues to expand its in-house aerospace manufacturing and repair capabilities, while increasing the scope of its aircraft platform support.
About The Timken Company
The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR, http://www.timken.com) keeps the world turning, with innovative friction management and power transmission products and services that enable customers to perform faster and more smoothly and efficiently. With sales of $5.0 billion in 2006, operations in 27 countries and approximately 25,000 employees, Timken is Where You Turn™ for better performance.