Timken Seeks Third Major Expansion of Lincoln Plant
The Timken Company is planning the third expansion in four years at its bearing plant in Lincoln County, with the latest project representing a $3.5 million investment. County commissioners recently approved about $50,000 in incentives for an addition to a Timken production line that makes brakes and wheel-end packages for cars and trucks. The inducements will be paid over five years. The expansion is expected to add 20 jobs at the 650 employee, 560,000 square-foot facility off N.C. Highway 27 in the Iron Station community near Lincolnton. The project will follow a $16 million upgrade that Timken launched last year. That expansion, scheduled for completion this summer, is adding three production lines to make bearings for both automotive and industrial applications. Those new lines will double the plant’s production capacity, while also allowing bearing-and-hub assembly, says Seth Haney, plant general manager. The current expansion will add few, if ay, employees, company officials have said. Timken’s bearings are used in light and medium duty truck wheels that are sealed and contain a sensing mechanism to detect excessive wear, the company says. The assemblies are less expensive and lighter than old bearings and hubs, and the company says the products also improve braking efficiency. In 1999, Timken started a $20 million expansion of the plant, adding production of a bearing for such customers as Daimler Chrysler AG, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. Canton, Ohio-based Timken, whose stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TKR, has operations in 24 countries, employing 28,100. The company had 2002 sales of $3.8 billion.