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US bearings-maker acquires German ceramics specialist

09 July, 2013

The American bearings supplier New Hampshire Ball Bearings (NHBB) has acquired the German firm Cerobear, which specialises in producing bearings incorporating advanced ceramics.

Cerobear designs, engineers and manufactures customised ceramic and hybrid ceramic ball and roller bearings for the aerospace, defence, packaging, fluid machinery, motor racing, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment industries. It is located in Herzogenrath, Germany, where it employs more than 100 people and operates a 2,000m2 manufacturing facility.

Cerobear will become a part of the NHBB/myonic business owned by HNBB’s Japanese parent company, Minebea, and will operate as an independent subsidiary under NHBB. NHBB/myonic now operates six manufacturing sites in the US and Europe, including the myonic operation in Germany which Minebea acquired in 2009.

HNBB says that the strategic acquisition will deliver significant competitive advantages to both companies. Cerobear will gain access to the global manufacturing and marketing resources of NHBB and Minebea, while NHBB will be able to offer its aerospace customers ceramic bearing technologies.

Ceramic and hybrid ceramic bearing technologies are gaining wider acceptance as manufacturers – particularly in the aircraft sector – look for innovative materials that can cut weight and raise efficiencies.

Cerobear's joint managing directors, Jens Wemhoener (left) and Gabriele Wemhoener (right), at the signing ceremony with Dan Lemieux, NHBB's vice-president of business development and marketing (centre).
Photo: Business Wire

New Hampshire Ball Bearings manufactures precision bearings and complex bearing assemblies for the global aerospace, defence, and medical markets. Its products include precision miniature and instrument ball bearings, large ball and roller bearings, and specialised rod-end and spherical bearings.

Minebea claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of ball bearings up to 22mm in external diameter, with a global market share of around 60%. It also produces small motors – including hard drive spindle motors, fan motors and stepping motors – as well as electronic components.

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