The Timken Company applied its advanced research to secure additional contracts with Siemens VAI Metals Technologies for the supply of bearings to two new aluminum-rolling mills under construction in China. The two new contracts resulted in orders for Timken large-bore cylindrical roller bearings.
Timken secured the new business due to its previously conducted thermal analysis of a lubrication system at an aluminum mill that Siemens VAI built in Shanghai Shenhuo. Using the techniques developed by that research, Timken designed bearings for Siemens' new Henan and South West Aluminum mills, enabling the customer to install a successful re-circulating oil system that enhanced thermal stability for the four-row cylindrical bearings.
"Our ability to draw on expert resources from around the globe to collaborate with our team in China allowed Timken to provide the analysis and recommendations that improved our customer's performance," said Leong Fang, president of Timken's operations in China.
Siemens VAI first commissioned Timken in 2004 to supply four-row cylindrical roller bearings in the high-speed aluminum mill in Shanghai Shenhuo. Because the demanding application might be susceptible to catastrophic damage from thermal instability, Timken established a global team of researchers to develop a thermal model of the bearing and lubrication system.
"As a result of our ongoing work, we gained valuable insight into component temperatures and oil flow rates. That information was then used to refine the bearing design to meet the performance requirements of the Shanghai Shenhuo mill," said Jerry Rhodes, chief engineer of Timken's Process Industries business unit. "We have now applied that research to the bearing design used in these two new Siemens mills as well."