UK bearing manufacturer Michell Bearings is marking its centenary, having been founded in 1920.
In 1905, founder A.G.M Michell registered patents in Britain and Australia for his tilting pad bearing invention, a concept widely used around the world today.
Now employing 182 people from manufacturing sites in the UK and India, as well as a global sales network, Michell Bearings began life with co-ownership between A.G.M Michell and Henry Thornton Newbigin, as well as four shipbuilders in the North East of England: Cammell Laird & Co., Vickers, John Brown & Co. and Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co.
The adoption of Michell’s tilting pad thrust block was revolutionary during the First World War. By the end of the war, Michell’s design had replaced the larger, less reliable forerunners.
“It is a privilege for us all to be part of history as we celebrate 100 years since the incorporation of Michell Bearings,” said Steve Dixon, chief executive officer. “The fact that the business has reached this significant milestone is a tribute to everyone, past and present, who has dedicated themselves to the success of the company. The hard work of our employees is greatly appreciated and our efforts today are crucial to ensuring that Michell Bearings prospers for generations to come.
“There’s no doubt it’s an unusual time to celebrate this centenary, and of course we are disappointed that we can’t have a bigger celebration. But it’s important that we come together in some way mark this special occasion.”
Michell Bearings India commenced production in 1995 within a 4,500 m2 manufacturing facility in Bangalore. Currently employing 59, the facility plays a vital role within the business’ industrial market replicating the state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, CNC capability and cutting tool technology used in the UK.
Now a member of the British Engines Group, Michell Bearings moved to its facility in South Shields in 2015.
Michell Bearings has continued to grow and expand in markets such as hydropower, nuclear power and naval propulsion. The past two years have seen the company manufacture its fastest self-contained bearing within the nuclear power industry, largest thrust block for naval propulsion, and largest horizontal bearing for a civil aerospace development application.
Michell Bearings designs and manufactures hydrodynamic white metal and PTFE lined bearings. Its products including horizontal bearings, vertical bearings and tilting pad bearings for the industrial, commercial marine and naval markets.