707 N. Bower Road, Macomb, IL 61455 USA (309)837-0440
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About Us NTN Bower

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 include:

  • 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
  • Hot 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.

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