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9 Jul, 2010 14:06

New SKF plant puts Tver on manufacturing cutting edge

Russian manufacturing got a boost this week from the opening of a new plant that will make tapered roller bearings for locomotives.

At a time when everyone is talking about modernization and innovation while business is looking for innovative solutions – a new innovative product is already being transferred to Russian soil by a European investor.

A new Tver factory will produce the new generation of SKF's sealed and pre-lubricated compact tapered bearing units, for Russian and international railway customers. The $40 million facility built by Sweden’s SKF Group could revive the local industrial sector and provide the rapidly expanding domestic railway infrastructure market with high quality solutions. The factory will employ 100 people, and when at full capacity, will produce 150 000 bearing units per year

Tom Johnstone, President and Chief Executive Director at SKFAB, believes the Russian market has a lot of potential.

“Russia is one of the most important freight markets in the world so they bring the market and we bring the technology and I think the combination is a real win-win for both sides.”

Dmitry Losev, Head of Car building department at Russian Railway says the new technology will enable higher load carrying capacities, higher speeds and longer maintenance intervals – reducing the cost of equipment.

“When using the new bearing we’ll not only cut expenses for freight car repairs but increase their speed as we'll be able to reduce the amount of breaks during the train’s run.”

Anatolij Oussov, SKF Regional Director Russia and CIS is sure that establishing of innovative product or service is a crucial strategic step forward which helps to keep leading positions by quality and cost control.

“This technology shift enables our customers to significantly lower life cycle costs through longer maintenance intervals.”

The factory will be one of the first in Russia and in Europe with LEED certification, an internationally recognized standard for environmentally sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings.

The environmental benefits of the facility include natural daylight for 90% of the facility during daytime, demand controlled ventilation in major areas with CO2 monitoring. The building also uses 40% less energy than comparable buildings and has an innovative vacuum distillation process that recycles 100% of water used. This can be a move to adjust the experience of foreign peers by Russian companies to the rapidly-developing business.