Avon Bearings

  • Kaydon buys Avon Bearings

  • 4-26-08: Owner pledges to push Avon Bearings into the forefront of the growing wind energy market

  • 4-25-10: Kaydon Update

    ``Avon Bearings produces large diameter bearings for a broad spectrum of applications. Founded in 1969 as Formmet Corporation, the name was changed to SIFCO Bearings in 1981, finally becoming Avon Bearings in 1988.

    The bearings and slewing rings we manufacture range in size from 10 inches to 240 inches outside diameter. They are used in construction machinery, logging machines, aerial baskets, medical equipment, military vehicles, radar antennas, and a variety of industrial equipment. In terms of both quality and delivery, we believe we've achieved a record as the most dependable supplier in the big bearings industry.''

    Avon Bearings

    1500 Nagle Road

    Avon, OH 44011

    Phone Toll Free: 1-800-286-6274

    Phone Local: (440) 871-2500

    FAX: (440) 871-2503

    Sales email:


    Information or Engineering assistance:


    Web site: www.avonbearings.com/



    ARTICLE from Wikipedia

    Look up slew in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


    ``Slewing is the rotation of an object around an axis, usually the z axis. An example is a radar scanning 360 degrees by slewing around the z axis. This is also common terminology in astronomy. The process of rotating a telescope to observe a different region of the sky is referred to as slewing.

    The term slewing is also found in motion control applications. Often the slew axis is combined with other axis to form a motion profile.

    The term is also used in the computer game, Microsoft Flight Simulator, where by the user presses a key and they can rotate and move the virtual aircraft along all three spacial planes.''

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slewing"

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 11-2-07, by Lisa Roberson

    [Kaydon buys Avon Bearings]

    ``AVON -- Avon Bearings Corp. recently was acquired by an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company in a transaction worth $55 million that could thrust the local company into the forefront of the growing wind energy market.

    Kaydon Corp. announced the deal Monday [10-29-07], saying it plans to continue to operate Avon Bearings as a part of Kaydon for some time to come at the Nagel Road location. However, President and CEO James O'Leary said it is premature to discuss any plans for expansion or additional jobs.

    Avon Bearings employs about 100, according to city income tax records. In tax year 2006, the city received more than $62,000 in income tax revenue from the company.

    Located in a 12-acre manufacturing complex ... Avon Bearings produces large diameter bearings used in construction equipment, logging machines, aerial baskets, medical equipment, military vehicles, radar antennas and industrial equipment.

    One of the major markets that Kaydon supplies is the rapidly growing wind energy market. The acquisition of Avon Bearings fits with that platform as it is a major manufacturer of specialty ball bearings for wind turbines.

    "Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy and the acquisition of Avon Bearings compliments our growing wind energy platform," O'Leary said.

    In addition, Avon Bearings will broaden Kaydon's presence in important offshore crane, construction and steel markets for very large diameter bearings, a statement from Kaydon said.

    Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the city did not receive any information about the recent acquisition, but knows the local company has a stellar reputation ... The acquisition is expected to add about $30 million to Kaydon's fiscal 2008 sales.''

    Contact Lisa Roberson at lroberson@chroniclet.com


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 11-16-07, by John Funk, Plain Dealer Reporter

    ``Wind turbine makers look to Ohio for parts

    AKRON -- While politicians debated whether Ohio should embrace wind-generated power, the nation's No. 2 wind turbine manufacturer spent most of this week in the state looking for parts makers.

    California-based Clipper Windpower's search culminated Thursday [11-15=07] at a luncheon at the University of Akron attended by about 50 Ohio companies with the know-how to turn out the myriad precision parts that go into the behemoth turbines.

    "If we can find suppliers we can partner with, we'll do it," Todd Windeknecht, Clipper' s strategic commodity leader, told a crowd of about 80 at the Martin University Center on the UA campus. "We are looking for long-term agreements, at least five years."

    Clipper built its first wind turbine in 2005, six in 2006 and 125 this year.

    It has already taken orders through 2011, said Windeknecht, describing the rate of increase as "vertical."

    The company has built a turbine works in Iowa, where the requirement that utilities generate a portion of their power from renewable sources like wind has created a boom in wind farms. The turbine works employs 350. "We are hiring 30 to 40 people a week," Windeknecht said.

    The industry is facing critical shortages in gears, bearings, towers and turbine blades, he said. Clipper on its own already has contracts with about a dozen Ohio firms. Windeknecht and two colleagues spent most of Thursday afternoon in one-on-one interviews with interested parts makers.

    The event was the brainchild of the Cleveland-based WIRE-Net, a manufacturing advocacy organization that has created the Great Lakes Wind Network.

    The Great Lakes Wind Network helps companies such as Clipper, General Electric and a bevy of foreign turbine makers to see what Ohio has to offer. Ed Weston, director of the network, said U.S. wind turbine production is expected to grow by 913 percent over the next four years. The market potential for turbine supply chain companies has been estimated at $22 billion, he said.

    Weston also invited Ohio Department of Development experts on wind and other renewable energies to the conference. The department has about $1 million to assist renewable energy development, and the staffers were meeting privately with interested companies.

    Gov. Ted Strickland's electricity reform bill includes a provision that the state's utilities, by 2025, generate at least 25 percent of the power they sell here from renewable and other advanced technologies - a strategy he hopes will land an assembly plant in the state and generate thousands of new jobs, not only in turbine assembly but in the supply chain.

    Utilities oppose or only marginally support the governor's bill. After six weeks of hearings, the Senate amended the bill in a way that wind advocates argue means wind farms will not be built here. The Ohio House leadership expects to spend the entire winter considering the bill. ''

    To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: jfunk@plaind.com



    COLUMN from GreenBiz, 12-11-07, by Daniel M. Kammen

    Climate Wise, December 2007

    A Snapshot of the U. S. Wind Industry

    ``At a recent Capital Hill hearing I was surprised to learn that it was far from common knowledge just how competitive wind power has become. As a result, a bit of a data and price update memo may be of use, even to those who follow the industry. In addition, I will summarize the data on a few of the least cost wind farms in the nation.

    Wind energy in the United States has continued to grow, and represented 19 percent of the new nameplate capacity added to the electrical grid in 2006. With a total cumulative U.S. capacity of 11,575 MW (1 percent of total U.S. nameplate capacity) at the end of 2006, wind energy is now often directly cost competitive with fossil-fuel generation, and at times is a least-cost supply option.

    Representative Wind Project and Wind Power Costs

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) recently examined the estimated installation and power costs for twelve recent wind projects, finding that 2007 wholesale power prices for these projects range from 2.5 cents/kWh to 6.4 cents/kWh. Six of the projects provide wholesale power at less than 3 cents/kWh. These prices reflect available state and federal incentives, such as the Production Tax Credit, and any value from Renewable Energy Credits.

    As shown in Figure 1, also developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, average wind power prices have trended downward over time, notwithstanding a more recent increase in those prices. Even with the increase, however, wind power is found to be competitive with wholesale power prices and with the cost of operating new natural-gas power plants. This is especially true if the production tax credit is maintained ...

    Factors Affecting Costs and Future Cost Trends

    As the LBNL findings show, the cost of wind projects can vary by a factor of three or more. The reasons for these are varied but include: installation and material costs (turbines purchased in 2004 and 2005 are less expensive than those purchased in 2006 and 2007), relative wind resources (Class 5 wind sites result in higher capacity factors than Class 4 or 3 wind sites), and developer/owner (i.e. experienced developers such as FPL Energy may be able to develop and construct projects at lower cost) ...

    New manufacturing plants are being built in the U.S. (for example, the Clipper Windpower plant in Iowa and the Suzlon plant in Minnesota), albeit not at the same pace as in other parts of the world. Some of the 2006 wind power prices reflect lower turbine costs locked in 18-24 months earlier.

    In 2007, wind project and power costs are likely to trend higher as they will reflect increasing turbine costs. The increasing cost of wind turbines is partially mitigated by improvements in wind project performance. Increases in project capacity factors have been primarily driven by higher turbine heights, improved siting, and technological advancements.

    As noted earlier, however, these cost trends are affecting other forms of electricity generation as well and ... wind power remains competitive with wholesale power prices and with the cost of operating new natural-gas power plants ... ''

    Green-Biz Editor-at-Large Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California. He co-directs the Berkeley Institute of the Environment


    and is founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory


    See also Why Hybrid?

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 4-26-08, by Lisa Roberson

    ``An Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company recently purchased Avon Bearings Corp., pledging to push the local manufacturer into the forefront of the growing wind energy market. And two companies that make parts for wind turbines have scouted manufacturing sites in Lorain County.

    Alone, each could be seen as single steps toward economic development for the area, but when looked at together they paint a picture of what county officials believe will be the future of Lorain County, a renewable energy capital. And now that a much-anticipated energy and utilities bill is days away from becoming law, such announcements could become the norm for many years to come.

    That's because the bill -- which many admit isn't perfect -- seems to have something for everyone. Even critics say it's a step in the right direction toward not only breaking Ohio's dependence on coal and nuclear power plants, but also paving the way to create local jobs in the renewable energy industry ...

    As it's written, the bill requires utility companies to use renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and water to generate 12.5 percent of their total power load by 2025.

    In a give-and-take with the big power players, the House decided to keep a Senate-proposed provision that cuts off the renewable energy requirements if its use causes electric bills to increase by more than 3 percent. Some say that cap is too low to force companies to switch to renewable energy ...''

    Contact Lisa Roberson at lroberson@chroniclet.com.

    Top -- Home


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal. 4-25-10. By ADAM MAWSON amawson@MorningJournal.com

    ``AVON -- From military tanks, to cranes, to wind turbines, to MRI beds, the Kaydon Bearings Avon Plant, 1500 Nagel Road, manufactures bearings to keep equipment moving ... or more appropriately, rotating. "Anything that has a rotary application, there's a chance our products are in there," plant manager Scott Deisher said.

    Formerly Avon Bearings Corp., Kaydon Corp., of Michigan, purchased the Avon facility in 2007. Kaydon produces geared and non-geared slewing bearings from 12 to 240 inches in diameter for use in a variety of machines by a wide variety of applications including mining, steel mills, logging, construction, military, utility, medical and wind turbines ...

    "Right now, probably the biggest opportunities for us are tunnel boring and wind turbines," he said. He also predicts an increase in business from tunnelling equipment.

    The Avon plant operates three shifts and employs 65 people in jobs such as CNC operators, assembly workers, inspectors, shipping and receiving clerks, technicians, and supervision, among others ...

    Since purchasing the facility, Deisher said Kaydon has improved operations resulting in a much more efficient output ...

    A major improvement Deisher noted was that the company streamlined the shop floor and the operating procedures. Bearings are produced in stages at individual work stations and the stations are grouped into lines based on the size of the bearings. The first line is for bearings 60 inches or smaller, the second is for 60 to 90 inches, the third is for 90 to 120 inches, and the last line is 120 to 240 inches.

    Deisher says the product starts in a raw forges and then is rough machined, heat treated, gear cut, drilled and finished. The finished races are assembled with the remaining components. The completed bearings are then packed up and shipped off.

    Deisher says different bearings are built to customer specifications depending on the job it will be performing and where the job will be done. Variables like coating, weight needs, painting and environmental resistance all have to be factored in. "The design can be simple to very complex" he says. "The bearing's design is very consistent from one product to another. What we do is provide a custom engineered solution that fits our customer's application needs." ...''

    Business Index -- Top -- Home -- What's New