Corporate - 26/08/2009
NSK is investing in the expansion of the European Technology Centre (ETC) in Ratingen where it is concentrating on the development and test equipment from various European locations. This measure will position the company even more strongly as the development partner for its customers.
Over the next few months, further needed test equipment will be considered to be located also in Ratingen. In this location, NSK is making use of extensive premises for application-specific development and for testing of the drive components, and is also investing in new equipment.
Klauspeter Noack, European Engineering Director and Director of the De-velopment Centre: "The concentration of our Europe-wide activities in a well-equipped development centre means that we can create the condi-tions to be able to be as close as possible to our customers and offer rapid reaction times with regard to application-specific development and customer-specific tests.“
The ETC will initially take over two tasks. NSK will carry out application-specific developments, tests and investigations in the ETC for customers in the rolling bearing sector. They will be supported in this task by the Japanese R&D centres where more than 1,000 developers are employed. In the automotive sector, only customer and model-specific products and systems are ever used. For this sector the engineers in Ratingen develop complete bearing systems and steering systems.
At the present time, there are already 40 developers working in the new "European Technology Centre", in two years it will be more than 60. In addition to the most modern computer-supported simulation tools they have various comprehensive test facilities available, including for non-destructive testing, for long-term testing and for the simulation of ambient conditions.
The investment in the development facility is also to be considered in the light of the fact that, more and more, customers in industry require the en-gineering support of NSK when selecting bearings and who also use the special rolling bearings developed by NSK for specific application condi-tions. Klauspeter Noack: "Tasks such as these can be completed more quickly now because the entire process chain - including production of special rolling bearings - can be processed in Germany or in Europe. We can now also provide our sales personnel or our sales partners with better and quicker support when selecting bearings for extreme conditions. Here we can ensure that the rolling bearings will achieve the required service life under the specified parameters."
The range of tasks of the ETC also includes the investigation of bearing failures to be able to make recommendations for optimum bearing use, and the ETC will be expanded even further in the future: For the upcom-ing three years NSK intends to expand the development capacities in Europe by 30%.
The ETC test equipment permits the most varied of tests, which, amongst other things, assesses the suitability of the bearing for defined applications. The long-term test units shown here provide evidence of endurance strength.