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£4m investment helps UK bearings-maker to expand

11 December, 2012

Cooper Roller Bearings, based in Norfolk in the UK, has received a £4m investment from its parent, Kaydon Corporation, to expand its production of split roller bearings (SRBs). The investment will help Cooper – which claims to have invented the SRB – to produce larger bearings that handle higher levels of thrust, as well as cutting delivery times.

Cooper employs 250 people and maintains a vertically integrated operation for both housings and bearings at its King’s Lynn headquarters, including design, casting, turning, grinding and finishing processes. It has been manufacturing SRBs for more than a century and its sales of large bearings (with diameters of 30cm and larger) have been growing by more than 25% a year in recent years.

The new investment has been used to buy new turning and grinding centres and lathes that have extended the size of bearing that Cooper can produce. “For years now, we have been making cylindrical roller bearings and housings to order for shaft sizes up to 1,550mm,” says operations director, Pat Smith. “To this, we can now add split taper roller bearings for shafts up to 780mm.”

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