Goodrich is ready to boost production of its self-lubricating polymer bearings, looking for opportunities to develop new materials and new markets.
The firm - which formally changed its name from BFGoodrich Co. on June 1 - announced May 24 it will buy automotive supplier Dana Corp.'s industrial polymer bearings business, which boasted nearly $100 million in sales last year.
Toledo, Ohio-based Dana will continue production of polymer bearings for the automotive business, using the sale to focus on its core customer base.
The purchase, expected to wrap up for undisclosed terms by the third quarter of this year, brings Goodrich production facilities and sales in Europe and South America, and triples the size of its Garlock Bearings unit.
``It gives us the business platform to take these new materials on a worldwide basis,'' said Bill Walthall, group vice president, engineered products for Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich.
Self-lubricating polymer bearings typically have a steel core covered by bronze and are encased in some kind of plastic, such as Teflon. Goodrich plans to develop new polymers for the bearings, using products like its own Superlmid - a proprietary polyimide with higher temperature and performance characteristics.
``What we're looking to do with new materials is to expand their applications,'' said Jim Fisher, president of Garlock Bearings.
The business can provide the commercial platform for new products, while creating new polymers to meet customer needs, he said.
Goodrich will pick up Dana plants in Scotland, France and Slovakia; Dana's Glacier Industrial Bearings Division, with production in Germany and Brazil; a bushing block factory in France; and some development programs in England.