RBC Bearings Incrsquos Houston plant marked for consolidation produces largediameter cylindrical and ball bearings including special designs and obsolete bearings

RBC Bearings Closes Plant, Buys Another

March 5, 2013
Large-diameter bearings for gearboxes, machinery Western Precision Aero aerospace gears, precision parts

Connecticut-based RBC Bearings Incorporated is discontinuing production of large bearings, and will combine a Houston manufacturing operation with another one in South Carolina. Also, RBC plans to buy a California manufacturer of precision gears and similar products for aerospace and other industrial markets.

The Houston plant produces large-diameter cylindrical and ball bearings (including special designs and obsolete bearings), supplied to builders of specialty machinery like gearboxes, paper manufacturing, steel rolling mills, mining equipment, and aggregate processing machines.

RBC Bearings said the operations would be “consolidated” with other plants, mainly one in South Carolina. The company stated this move would “strengthen and “bring to critical mass the efficiency of our large bearing manufacturing operations and consequently a gross margin improvement for this product offering is planned over the next 12 months.”

Western Precision Aero LLC, the Garden Grove, Calif., producer of aerospace gears and precision parts, will be bought for $2.6 million. The operation had net sales of approximately $5.0 during 2012.

“The addition of WPA’s unique and complimentary products and processes to our portfolio of highly engineered products increases the breadth of our current offering to customers,” according to Dr. Michael J. Hartnett, RBC Bearings chairman and CEO. “The acquisition is in line with our strategy of product portfolio expansion into the aerospace and industrial markets."

RBC Bearings has 23 plants in four countries that produce high-tech or regulated bearings for industrial aerospace, and defense markets.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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