Timken innovation drives market sector outgrowth, leadership


The Timken Company, a global industrial leader in engineered bearings and power transmission products, recently announced it achieved industry-leading growth in service to wind-energy customers over the last five years. During this period, Timken significantly outgrew this market sector by registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent, compared to an estimated 7 percent CAGR for the industry as a whole. Timken is poised to capitalize further as global demand for equipment and services for the growing wind-energy sector continues to increase. The company anticipates another record year for wind-related revenue in 2021 and remains well-positioned to succeed in this market sector over the long term.

Replacing main shaft bearings with upgraded Timken® bearings with wear-resistant coatings can help wind operators reduce maintenance costs over the turbine lifecycle. (Courtesy: The Timken Company)

“With global demand on the rise for renewable energy sources, our customers’ success depends on designing larger, more powerful and efficient wind turbines,” said Andreas Roellgen, Timken vice president, Europe, Asia, Africa.

“As wind-turbine manufacturers continue to push the limits on performance, designing and manufacturing bearings for them is increasing in complexity. Timken’s long history of technical problem solving and engineering innovation for the world’s most challenging applications continues to be a significant advantage for our customers in the wind energy industry.”

Timken products, such as engineered bearings and lubrication systems, are designed to help wind turbines operate with greater efficiency in producing power. Also, the company’s maintenance services help maximize a turbine’s performance over its lifetime.

Timken increased its presence in both gear drive and main shaft equipment as the global wind energy market sector experienced rapid growth in 2020. And ongoing trends — such as OEMs building larger turbines that generate more power, and turbine main shaft designs that increasingly rely on tapered roller bearings to take on additional loading — continue to favor the company going forward. In fact, Timken demonstrated its industry leadership by recently partnering with a leading OEM to design and manufacture bearings for the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbine.

Timken, which entered the wind-energy market sector about 15 years ago and has since become a technology leader in the industry and a leading technical partner for wind-turbine and gear-drive OEMs, offers customers a complete engineering solution that meets an application’s demanding duty cycles.

Employing its collaborative technical sales model, the company works with customers to understand their most important success factors and key challenges. This tried-and-trusted approach is paying off in the rapidly evolving wind-energy sector, where Timken has been able to provide timely support to customers with solutions for new wind installations as well as existing designs that are underperforming. Given that the industry’s growing base of installed turbines generally requires a major overhaul after 10 to 15 years, Timken is well-positioned to support not only new equipment, but also the increasing demand for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. “Downtime and repairs can be very costly for wind-turbine operators, and our wind-energy solutions support our customers’ needs to optimize reliability, cost, and performance,” Roellgen said.

For example, to help increase the service life of bearings in wind-turbine main shaft applications, Timken developed a thin-film coating that simultaneously increases surface hardness and wear-resistance, while reducing friction.

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