Founded over a hundred years ago, GGB has a history dating back to 1899 when Glacier Antifriction Metal Company was founded in London, England. Glacier introduced many successful products to the market, including two internationally recognized materials: DU® steel-backed metal-polymer bearing with bronze and PTFE lining (1956) and the marginally lubricated DX® tape-based bearing (1965) for grease or oil lubricated applications.
Glacier, Garlock and GGB
In 1958, New York-based Garlock Inc. was established as the U.S. bearing distributor for Glacier, later founding a joint venture called Garlock Bearings Inc. in 1976. As a leader in product development, GGB set industry standards for plain bearings with the introduction of the SICAL® range of aluminum alloys (1974), the filament wound product range including GAR-MAX® (1978), the marginally lubricated HI-EX® metal-polymer material (1986), the lead-free, steel-backed DP4 metal-polymer material and DP4-B with bronze backing (1995) and the EP™ range of injection-molded, thermoplastic solid polymer bearings (1996).
Goodrich Corporation, then the owner of Garlock Bearings, acquired Glacier Industrial Bearings in 2001, merging the two companies to form Glacier Garlock Bearings into one bearing-company. In 2002, Goodrich spun off a group of industrial businesses to its shareholders that included Glacier Garlock Bearings. The group formed EnPro Industries Inc., an independent public company and a leading provider of engineered products for the processing and general manufacturing industries worldwide.
Changing name in 2006, Glacier Garlock Bearings now operates as GGB Bearing Technology and continues to expand its global network of manufacturing facilities with the acquisitions of Böhringer Kunststofftechnik GmbH in 2007, a precision injection molder of high performance solid polymer solutions, and PI Bearing Technologies in 2011, a producer of PICAL® aluminum alloy bushing blocks and other bearing products used in fluid power applications.
AS a forward thinking bearing company, GGB continues to explore new territories, landing on the planet Mars in 2012 aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover. Three DU® metal-polymer bearing parts serve as the primary suspension components for the drill spindle, one of four robust components that allow Curiosity’s drill to sample rocks in the extreme conditions of the Martian landscape.
- Bushing Block production was transferred from Chicago to a new facility in Thorofare, NJ; USA
- GGB-SHB™ case hardened steel bearings were introduced for applications that demand high wear resistance
- A new, larger plant was opened in Suzhou, China to serve primarily automotive, pumps and compressors, construction, agriculture and industrial markets
- GGB France in Annecy marked its 70th anniversary.
- HPMB® self-lubricating filament wound bearings with machinable liner and GGB-SZ lead-free bimetal bearings introduced
- Thorofare, USA filament wound plant relocated to nearby larger new facility
- Series of self-lubricating sintered bronze and sintered iron bearings introduced, including GGB-BP25, GGB-FP20 and GGB-SO16
- Three plants mark milestone anniversaries: 40 years for Heilbronn, Germany and Dieuze, France, and 10 years for Sučany, Slovakia
- Launches new self-lubricating metallic bearing materials GGB-CSM® and GGB-CBM® as well as FLASH-CLICK®, a patented two-piece, double-flanged solid polymer bearing.
- GGB bearings land on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover. The self-lubricating DU® metal-polymer bearings serve as the primary suspension components for Curiosity’s drill spindle.
- DTS10® self-lubricating machinable metal-polymer bearings are launched for the fluid power and compressor markets.
- Acquires PI Bearing Technologies, a producer of PICAL® aluminum alloy bushing blocks and other bearing products used in fluid power applications.
- GGB production plants receive certification for the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS 18001) for health and safety management systems.
- Lead-free DP10 and DP11 metal-polymer materials are introduced for superior performance under marginally lubricated and dry running conditions.
- A filament-wound product range is introduced to the European and Asian markets combining self-lubricating properties with a strong, stable structure to meet high-load, low-wear application requirements.
- GGB North America is certified to the aerospace industry’s standard for quality management systems (AS 9100C), aligning GGB’s quality management system with the industry’s global standard.
- The first Asian manufacturing facility begins production in Suzhou, China.
- New DX®10 bearings are recognized by winning the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation of the Year award in the Class 7-8 truck bearings category, awarded for excellence in new products and technologies in the industry.
- Introduces SBC sealed bearing cartridges for off-highway, construction and earth-moving equipment applications.
- Acquires Böhringer Kunststofftechnik GmbH, precision injection molder of high-performance solid polymer solutions.
- GGB changes name into GGB Bearing Technology
- Glacier Garlock Bearings changes name to become GGB.
- Opening of the new manufacturing plant in Sučany, Slovakia, joining the list of global production facilities in Germany, France, Brazil, and the U.S.
- Introduces lead-free DP31 metal-polymer material with improved performance under lubricated conditions, wear resistance, fatigue strength and low friction.
- Acquires Saver North America, a producer of self-lubricating composite bearings and other composite products for the industrial, automotive, electrical and marine markets.
- B.F. Goodrich creates a new public company and splits it off to shareholders. Glacier Garlock Bearings becomes a subsidiary of EnPro Industries Inc., the leading provider of engineered products for the processing and general manufacturing industries worldwide.
- Annual production of plain bearings exceeds one billion pieces.
- Launches EP™, a new range of injection-molded, thermoplastic solid polymer bearings.
- Lead-free, steel-backed DP4 metal-polymer material is introduced to the market for automotive shock absorbers and other hydraulic applications.
- Introduces DP4-B with bronze backing for improved corrosion resistance.
- Launches HI-EX® metal-polymer material, a marginally lubricated bearing material designed for use in high-temperature applications.
- Introduces the filament wound product range in the U.S. including GAR-MAX®, supporting high static and dynamic loads.
- Glacier and Garlock Inc. establish joint venture company Garlock Bearings Inc.
- Continuous casting begins of the SICAL® range of aluminum alloys and high precision maching of bushing blocks in Dieuze, France.
- Technology is licensed to a number of overseas bearing manufacturers by Glacier. Licensees include SIC (France) and Garlock Inc. (USA).
- Launches the marginally lubricated DX® metal-polymer material for grease or oil lubricated applications.
- Garlock Inc. is established as the U.S. bearing distributor for Glacier.
- Introduces DU® bush, the world´s first steel backed metal-polymer bearing material with bronze and PTFE lining offering excellent low friction and wear resistance performance.
- Introduces DU-B bush with bronze backing for improved corrosion resistance.
- The company begins producing plain bearings in response to the increased demand for internal combustion engines.
- Cuyler W Findlay and A J Battle found Findlay Motor Metals, renaming the company to Glacier Antifriction Metal Company two years later.
- Olin J. Garlock patents his first industrial sealing system used to seal piston rods in industrial steam engines.