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In Brief

01 July, 2002

Parker Hannifin is closing six plants and cutting up to 1,000 jobs as part of a restructuring operation which is expected to save $12m in the next financial year, and $20m in 2004. The company has also taken a $50m charge to write down assets. In the past year, Parker has already closed 30 plants and cut about 6,000 jobs - about 15% of its workforce - leaving it with around 45,000 employees worldwide.

US flexible couplings supplier Lovejoy has set up a 2,000m2 European warehouse and manufacturing site at Alkmaar in the Netherlands. The operation, intended to provide better support for Lovejoy`s European customers, will be headed by Barry Vowles, who has joined after 30 years with Flexibox (now John Crane), to become manager, Lovejoy Europe. Phone: 00 31 72 541 2075.

Global demand for food processing machinery is predicted to rise by 4.6% a year to $21bn by 2006, according to a new report from the Freedonia Group. The consultancy says that expansion in developing countries - especially in Asia-Pacific and Mexico - will help to fuel the growth, with India being the fastest-growing market, followed by China, which is now the world`s second largest market for food processing machinery, behind the US.

Metso Drives has invested €15m in a technology centre in central Finland for research into wind turbine gearbox technology and servicing. The centre can provide up to 6MW of test power to study extreme load conditions, dynamic behaviour, and accelerated testing, with the aim of producing more efficient and durable gearboxes with low noise and vibration levels.

Ingersoll-Rand`s precision bearing and motion control subsidiary, Torrington, has opened a new bearings plant at Olomouc, 70km east of Brno in the Czech Republic. The 11,500m2 plant, which took a year to build and bring on line, has recruited more than 350 local employees to make bearings for Europe`s industrial and automotive markets. Torrington has raised its growth targets and hopes to boost its turnover to more than €500m by the end of 2005.

Baldor has expanded the range of NEMA motors that it stocks in Europe, cutting delivery times from more than a month to less than 48 hours. More than 500 lines, with ratings to 20kW and above, are now held at Baldor`s European logistics warehouse. The company claims that it now offers the most comprehensive NEMA service in Europe.

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