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We have taken steps to remain your reliable partner in this challenging economic climate. Read further about one of our more unique product lines - precision thin section bearings.

During this time of economic uncertainty, all of us have watched as companies across the business spectrum have struggled, and in some cases been forced to sell everything and close their doors. From Bear Stearns back in March 2008, when the economic downturn was still not on most people's radar, to the bailout of General Motors, weakness has been found in many places where it would have been unthinkable only a few years back.

The bearing industry has not been immune to the economic hardships of the past year. Most of the major manufacturers have been forced into layoffs and reductions in capacity. As in the case of Timken's sale of the Fafnir needle bearing line last month, this downturn has seen the sale of entire product groups, and in some cases a few smaller companies have been completely sold off to competitors. While there has not been a major business failure in the bearing world, there are changes in our industry that suggest growing weakness among some participants.

Most companies in today's environment take extra care to assure they are partnered with suppliers that are strong and viable long term. Evaluating the financial health of an entire supply chain can be as much a part of a company's quality assurance, as is evaluating the material and products that chain provides. With nearly 30 years in the bearing industry, National Precision Bearing is experienced in choosing strong partners and sources for long term success. In late 2007 and early 2008 our company began a process of reorganizing that prepared us for growth in a difficult environment. While not immune to the downturn, we have not experienced the same weakness a number of bearing industry participants have over the past year. National remains a strong link in the supply chain of many of the world's major Aerospace, Medical, and Industrial manufacturers. If we are one of your partner suppliers we look forward to supporting your growth and success for many years to come.

Tom Koetje - Manager of NPB Product

Thin section bearings are a family of bearings designed from a limited number of widths and thicknesses (cross sections), with each cross section manufactured in a wide range of bore diameters. Most radial ball bearings are designed so that as the bore size increases, the width and the thickness of the bearing change proportionately. In the case of thin section bearings the cross section remains the same as the bore diameter increases. The thin section bearing family is made up of 12 primary cross section sets ranging from 3/16" to 1" and with bore sizes ranging from 1" to over 40". The combination of a large bore diameter in proportion to the small cross section makes these parts appear "thin" in comparison to standard ball bearings. Thin section bearings are made from 52100 chrome steel and 440C stainless steel. They can also be coated with platings like thin dense chrome. Some sizes can be configured with seals or shields. Thin section bearings are also made in one of three different contact styles; radial contact, angular contact, and four point contact. These options, along with several ball and retainer types make for a diverse range of parts even among the limited cross sections of the thin section bearing family.

Thin section bearings help reduce total cost in a system by allowing for design efficiency over standard bearing sizes. Because thin section bearings have cross sections that don't change as bore sizes increase, there needs to be no change in the space requirements, and little change in the weight of the bearing, even as the diameter of an application increases. Especially in the case of medical equipment, airborne optical and infrared scanning equipment, and robotics, the space and weight requirements of a system are major factors in the overall design and manufacturing cost. In many cases, the price of a thin section bearing is higher than a standard bearing with a similar bore size, but application and design savings due to reduced space and lower weight decrease the total cost in the application.  

If you have questions about a new or existing thin section bearing design please contact your National Precision Bearing or SilverThin Bearing sales representative.


Please click here to see our SilverThin Stock List: https://www.nationalprecision.com/pdf.php?pdf=SilverThin_StockList_Thin_Section_Bearing.pdf

For complete company information, please visit: www.silverthin.com

Kevin McNulty - Sales Manager, SilverThin Bearing Group

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Phone: 800-426-8038 • 425-222-5900 • Fax: 888-448-1153 • 425-222-5950
E-mail: sales@nationalprecision.com

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