Three GGB Plants Mark Milestone Anniversaries
Three of GGB Bearing Technologies’ (GGB) manufacturing facilities are marking milestone anniversaries this year. The company’s plants in Heilbronn, Germany and Dieuze, France were established 40 years ago, and its plant in Sucany, Slovakia opened 10 years ago.
The Heilbronn plant was originally owned by ihg-Gleitlager GmbH, a distributor for U.K.-based Glacier Metal Company’s DU® and DX® bearings and manufacturer of custom products for special applications. It subsequently underwent a number of changes in ownership before becoming part of GGB in 2002. Today the 5,000 m2 (54,000 sq. ft.) facility manufactures metal-polymer plain bearings for Europe’s automotive and general industrial markets. It is certified to the ISO 9001 standard for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, ISO/TS 16949 for quality management in the automotive supply chain, OHSAS 18001 for health and safety management, and ISO 50001 for energy management. In addition the plant is certified to supply Rolls Royce with bearings for use in its jet engines.
“Many of our employees have been here 20 or more years,” said Plant Manager Lutz Staiger. “But we also have a good mix of ages, with 60-year-olds working side by side with 25- and 30-year-olds. This is important for the transfer of knowledge and skills, and a good experience for our older and younger employees alike.”
The Dieuze plant likewise was established under the ownership of a different company, in this case Associated Engineering Group Ltd., which owned the Glacier Metal Co. The same size as Heilbronn, Dieuze manufactures aluminum alloy bushing blocks and assemblies for fluid power applications in the automotive and industrial markets.The world’s leading supplier of these products, Dieuze recently installed new, state-of-the-art machinery and a production cell that allowing operators to run two machines simultaneously and produce 150 parts of various sizes with optimal repeatability and quality. The plant is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/TS 16949 and OHSAS 18001.
“We also have a substantial number of long-term employees, five of whom have been here since the very beginning,” said Plant Manager Arnaud Lesaffre.
The Sučany plant opened in 2004, consolidating production from GGB facilities in Kilmarnock, Scotland and Dolný Kubín, Slovakia. Today the 9,000 m2 (97,000 sq. ft.) facility produces metal-polymer bearings, bushing blocks and high-precision assemblies for the automotive, fluid power and industrial markets in Eastern Europe. It is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/TS 16949, ISO 18001 and ISO 50001. “Production at Sučany has doubled in the past four years, reflecting greater efficiency in our operations and continuing recovery in our major markets,” said Plant Manager Robert Paskuliak. “Significantly employee safety has not been compromised with this increase in productivity. In fact we have been named one of the 10 safest companies in Slovakia.”
In addition to these plants, GGB’s global production platform includes manufacturing facilities in Thorofare, N.J.; Barueri, Brazil; Annecy, France; and Suzhou. China.