Issue: Nov 2006


Timken Provides Steel Solution for Bosch



by James Hilton

The Timken Company (NYSE:TKR) collaborated with one of its major automotive customers to produce a steel that is easier to machine.

Working with the Robert Bosch Corporation, Timken engineers developed a hot-rolled temper process to produce steel that Bosch could more readily machine for a diesel fuel injector on truck engines.

"This collaboration illustrates Timken's ability to custom-design materials and offer value-added solutions that optimize the performance of customers' applications," said Linn Osterman, vice president of sales and marketing in Timken's Steel Group. "Timken is committed to working closely with customers like Bosch to translate our know-how into better performance."

Bosch, a leading manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, previously used a low-alloy steel that was hot-rolled annealed at its plant in Charleston, S.C.

This process produced steel with a high surface-to-core hardness gradient that was difficult for Bosch to machine. Excessive metal buildup on the tool edges ultimately led to reduced drill and tool life.

In 2005, Timken suggested a hot-rolled temper process, which would produce steel that would machine more efficiently and respond more effectively during Bosch's heat-treatment process. This hot-rolled process would produce tempered steel with a higher hardness and significantly reduce the temperature required for heat treatment.

After conducting machining trials and component testing, Bosch confirmed the improved machinability of the steel utilizing the Timken process.

"The high pressure pulsation fatigue life of the hot-rolled tempered steel improved notably over that of the hot-rolled annealed steel," said Wilt Staples, senior purchasing engineer at the Bosch Charleston plant.

Timken also provides Timken(R) Generation III(TM) (Gen-III) integrated hub assemblies for wheel-end applications in select North American vehicles. The Timken integrated units are incorporated into Bosch wheel-end assemblies for use in several General Motors trucks and vehicles, including GMC 4x2 and 4x4 pickups, GMC 4x4 SUVs and the H3, the latest addition to the Hummer line of on- and off-road vehicles.

The Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.

In North America, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial automation and mobile products, power tools and accessories, security technology, thermo-technology, packaging equipment and household appliances. Bosch employs 22,700 associates in more than 80 primary and 20 associated facilities throughout the region with reported sales of $8.4 billion in 2005. This year marks Bosch's 100th year of operating in the United States. For more information on the company and the Centennial, visit www.bosch.us.

Timken's highly engineered bearings, alloy steels and related products and services turn up everywhere. With operations in 27 countries, sales of $5.2 billion in 2005 and 27,000 employees, Timken is Where You Turn(TM) for better performance.

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