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SKF to build $30m innovation centre in the US

13 August, 2014

The bearings-maker SKF is investing $30m to establish a Global Technical Centre in the US. The centre will employ around 80 engineers within its first four years of operation, with plans to expand to 200 subsequently.

The 12,100m2 (130,000ft2) facility in the greater Chicago area joins two similar centres recently opened in China and India, while two new European centres are being built in The Netherlands and Sweden.

SKF’s strategy is to establish these centres close to its important customers to focus on market-specific product innovations for its five platforms – bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services.

“One of SKF’s driving forces is to continue to deliver world-leading research and innovation and to develop products which deliver significant energy savings for our customers,” says Tom Johnstone, SKF’s president and CEO. “This newest centre will strengthen our global network of technical centres that support each of our key regions.

“The Naperville, Illinois-based R&D centre will complement our existing technical centre in Plymouth, MI and help drive our growth ambitions for the US market,” he adds. “Over the past five years, SKF has made investments of over $2.5bn in the US, both by building new facilities and the acquisition of the lubrication company Lincoln Industrial and, most recently, Kaydon Corporation.”

Construction of the Global Technical Center Americas will begin before the end of the year, and operations are expected to start by the end of 2015. Recruitment of the first wave of engineers and technical specialists will commence in September 2014.

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