The NTN-Bower story began in 1904 when R. F. Bower
of Dayton, Ohio patented his newly designed thrust controlling roller
bearing. The new Bower bearing proved extremely successful in controlling
the problem of horse-drawn carriages losing wheels while making turns
at high speeds. As a result, in 1907 several Dayton Ohio businessmen
became interested in the new product and organized the Bower Roller
Bearing Company with $100,000 capital for its operation.
Shortly after the start of production, the popularity of the automobile
increased dramatically and many new companies were formed to manufacture
the automobile on a production scale. In an attempt to participate
more fully in this new industry, the Bower Roller Bearing Company
moved to Detroit and a Michigan Corporation was formed in 1910 with
a capital stock of $225,000. The company occupied its new Detroit
factory in 1911.
The Bower Roller Bearing Company grew rapidly as the automotive
business expanded, attracting the best engineers and skilled technicians
in the area. Production of the popular tapered roller bearing was
added in 1926; and based on the success achieved in designing and
manufacturing improved tapered roller bearings; many customers requested
that cylindrical roller bearings be added to the line. Production
of cylindrical roller bearings began in 1934 to better serve industry.
In 1955, Bower Roller Bearing Company merged with Federal-Mogul
Corporation as a result of a close working relationship between the
companies. This relationship was built on the success of Federal-Mogul
Corporation's service division in merchandising the Bower line of
roller bearings. Following the merger, the steadily growing customer
demand dictated an increase in production facilities.
The desire to locate the new production facilities as conveniently
as possible to Midwest markets led to the construction of a manufacturing
plant in Macomb, Illinois in 1965 and a manufacturing plant in Hamilton,
Alabama in the 1973.
In 1985 the Federal-Mogul Corporation entered into an agreement
with NTN-Toyo Bearing Company, Ltd. of Osaka, Japan to form a corporation
dedicated to the domestic manufacture of precision roller bearings.
This agreement signed by the two companies on December 11 resulted
in the formation of the NTN-Bower Corporation. The newly formed company
included both manufacturing facilities and a Technical Center. In
1987, NTN acquired 100% ownership of the company. The Corporate Headquarters
of NTN-Bower Corporation was moved from Bingham Farms, Michigan to
Macomb, Illinois in 1993.
To provide full technical support for all of NTN's operations in
North America, the NTN Technical Center (U.S.A.), Inc. was established
combining NTN-Bower Corporation and NTN Bearing Corporation of America's
test equipment within the expanded Ann Arbor facility. To accelerate
research and development, a global computer communications network
interconnects the Technical Center with manufacturing facilities
and sales offices.
For 100 years, NTN-Bower roller bearings have been recognized as
a superior product in regard to precision and performance. During
this period, new bearing designs, improved manufacturing techniques
and new materials have been introduced to enhance our products.
Important "firsts" in cylindrical and tapered roller bearings
- Honing of raceways
- Spherical roller heads for tapered roller bearings
- Crowned cylindrical
and tapered rollers
- Cold-formed tapered roller bearing rings
- Electron beam welded
one-piece steel cages for cylindrical roller bearings
- Two piece,
ultrasonically joined Fibron cages for cylindrical roller bearings
forged powder metal bearing components
- Hot pressed silicon nitride
cylindrical roller bearings
- Signature bearings
These "firsts" permit today's vehicles, industrial and
farm machinery to run longer, smoother, and more reliably.
NTN-Bower Corporation has continued to uphold the history of product
excellence established by the founders of the Bower Roller Bearing
Company. We have primarily focused on serving our customers in the
transportation, construction and agricultural implement markets,
while at the same time serving the needs of other industrial customers
who have provided a good niche for our precision bearings.
Today, with the continued support of NTN Corporation, NTN-Bower
Corporation stands alone as one of the largest manufacturers of precision
roller bearings in North America. We continue to expand and improve
the quality of our products to meet the demands of our customers.
In addition to bearings, NTN-Bower Corporation has recently expanded
our product lines to include fan housings, HUB and HUR units, mass
weights, and other bearing related products.