Since its earliest days in West Trenton, New Jersey, the company has been at the forefront of bearing technology. Roller Bearing Company of America, founded in 1919, manufactured a variety of bearing products. In 1941, Roller Bearing Company became the sole source supplier for the landing gear bearings on military aircraft manufactured by Ford Motor Company. The RBC facility in West Trenton continues today to be a major supplier of helicopter main and tail rotor flight control bearings to, among others, the U.S. Government.

In 1990, RBC acquired Industrial Tectonics Bearings (ITB). Located in Rancho Dominguez, California, the division was founded in 1955. ITB manufactures a complete line of thin section ball bearings with capabilities up to 24 inches outside diameter. Typical aerospace applications include helicopter swashplate bearings and electro-optical targeting pods. Additionally, ITB is RBC’s main facility for the production of 52100 cad plated, CRES 440C, and zinc nickel plate airframe control ball bearings. RBC has become the number one producer worldwide of airframe control product, and has virtually every series and size Mil-Spec approvals.

Transport Dynamics (TDC), founded in 1955, was acquired in 1992. Also located in southern California, TDC is one of RBC’s main producers of plain bearings, manufacturing journal bearings (bushings), spherical plain, and rod end product. Plain bearings at TDC are constructed in metal-to-metal and as lined, self-lubricating product. Transport Dynamics offers over 30 different liner systems depending upon the loading, wear, and temperature conditions in the application (including the patented Fibriloid® and Fiberglide® liner technology). TDC manufactures plain bearing product in both conventional swaged configurations and as load slot entry bearings (Messerschmidt design). Transport Dynamics was actually the inventor of the lined spherical bearing, with the first application developed in 1957 for the Chevrolet Corvette suspension joint. Boeing adopted this new bearing design and soon it was used throughout the 727 model aircraft. TDC actually licensed this technology to all their competitors back in the 1960s.

Heim® Bearings, Fairfield, Connecticut, joined the RBC family in 1993. Founded by Louis Heim® in 1942, the Heim® name has been known and respected for designing the first integral rod end bearing, specifically the Unibal® spherical bearing rod end. This bearing was originally designed to solve aircraft delivery delays due to critical shortages in rod ends and self-aligning bearings during the war effort. Heim® Bearings Company is also well known for inventing centerless grinding and for inventing the swaging process used in the manufacture of spherical plain bearings. In addition to rod end and spherical bearings, Heim® Bearings Company manufactures specialized radial ball bearings, such as a cobalt race hybrid bearing with silicon nitride balls for a hot bleed air valve application in aircraft auxiliary power units. Heim® Bearings Company is also the world’s largest provider of aerospace ball bearing rod ends, including manufacture with the corrosion-resistant AeroCres® material. Ball bearing rod ends can be found throughout aircraft in positioning and linkage assemblies, as well as on swaged tubes throughout the airframe.

In 2000, RBC acquired Schaublin SA based in Delémont, Switzerland. As a result, RBC added Schaublin’s metric rod ends and metric spherical bearings to the family of global RBC products, and a base with which to service the European market. Within this 140,000 sq. ft. facility, RBC has established the company’s European Distribution Center. In addition, Schaublin was licensed by Heim® Bearings to market Unibal® rod ends back in the 1950s. RBC also acquired what is now called RBC France — a sales, engineering, marketing, and distribution arm for Schaublin product, located in Les Ulis, France.

In December, 2003, RBC acquired the business of the former Torrington “Standard” Plant — a long-established leader in airframe products. This facility, referred to as RBC Aircraft Products, Inc. (API) was founded in 1866. The Torrington name is synonymous with quality engineering and precision – and complements the RBC portfolio of aerospace product offerings. At the API plant, RBC produces aircraft needle track roller bearings, cam followers, radial ball bearings, and specialized series of airframe control ball bearings.

RBC has made an additional aerospace business acquisition in each of the years 2004, 2005, and 2006; acquiring U.S. Bearing, Chatsworth, California; Southwest Products Inc., Baldwin Park, California; and Allpower Manufacturing, Santa Fe Springs, California, respectively. U.S. Bearing and Southwest Products manufacture plain bearings, as does Heim® Bearings, Transport Dynamics, and Schaublin. Added are some specialty design capabilities and self-lubricating liner systems, as well as additional production capacities. Allpower Manufacturing, a Boeing and Airbus approved supplier, produces a full line of precision bushings, spacers, sleeves, and specialty machined parts servicing the aerospace industry. This is an added product line to the already broadest line of aerospace bearings offered by RBC.

In 2008, RBC acquired the assets of A.I.D. Company, Clayton, Georgia, a manufacturer of precision aerospace swaged tubes and push-pull rods. A.I.D. was founded in 1948 to manufacture aircraft ignition systems. Today, the company produces a wide variety of swaged tubes, flash welded pushpull rods, and control rods for commercial and military applications.

Aerospace Segments Served

Aerospace segments served by RBC include commercial and military alike, fixed and rotary wing. RBC serves the world’s major airframers (large transport, regional, and general aviation), engines and accessories, defense (land and marine vehicles, missile and bomb, optical targeting), space (vehicles and engine), major subsystem providers (landing gear, electrical generation, etc.), and smaller subsystem and component applications (primary and secondary flight control actuation, swaged tube bearing, and structural applications, etc.) RBC’s aerospace operations count among their customers a long list of prestigious names, including Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAAB, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Bombardier, Embraer Aircraft, Spirit Aerosystems, NASA, Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky, Boeing Mesa and Rotocrafts, Rolls-Royce, GE Aircraft Engines, Snecma, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, ASCO, Goodrich Aerospace, Moog, Smiths Aerospace, Parker Aerospace, Messier-Dowty, Raytheon, Primus University Swage, LeFiell, and Tyee.

The RBC aerospace divisions are well versed in the many bearing materials, from the standard chrome 52100, to the CRES 440C and 15-5/17-4 stainless product, to the processing of exotic materials like ALTEMP® A286*, Stellite®**, titanium, Inconel®***, beryllium copper, Pyrowear®, and AeroCres®. Combined revenue of the RBC aircraft divisions, is approximately 75% aerospace. The predominant non-aerospace markets include high-end industrial applications requiring the same stringent tolerances and high-quality precision product.

Quality Statement

All of RBC’s aerospace bearings divisions have a formal, documented, and aerospace-approved quality program/system in place. The company is approved to many OEM quality systems, including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, GE Aircraft Engines, Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Boeing Helicopter, Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Snecma, Goodrich, BAE Systems, and the U.S. Government, among others. RBC is on a self-release program with many of these companies. For example, Industrial Tectonic Bearings (ITB), Rancho Dominguez, California, was promoted to Gold Level Preferred Supplier status at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida. At this point, RBC is the only Gold bearing supplier to the Lockheed organization. In a statement given by a senior manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, “…the ITB facility is key in helping us create a world-class supply base.” To assess ITB’s supplier status, Lockheed Martin performed an on-site business system review, the team concluding that RBC demonstrated a dedication to continuous improvement and process improvement. The Gold status allows ITB to perform its own final inspection of hardware, facilitating a “dock-to-stock” receipt at Lockheed Martin’s Orlando factory. All aerospace divisions of RBC are ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 certified. Additionally, they are NADCAP accredited inhouse for non-destructive testing, heat treat, and weld, or are using NADCAP accredited sourcing. The company is constantly audited by the many major aerospace customers in the world, as well as by the FAA. RBC is aware that material, specification, and/or processing changes are all critical. As such, the company has a traceability process for its manufacturing locations including a procedure for preserving the identity and origin of the bearing and all its components. RBC has the capability to isolate and recall suspect bearings from use and trace the cause of failure to a specific manufacturing lot, material process, or component.

Strategic Plan and Vision

RBC Bearings’ strategic plan and vision is to continue down the path of profitability and growth — organic growth including market penetration and the addition of new products and growth via acquisition to which RBC’s uncompromising track record of aerospace acquisition attests. RBC has become the world’s broadest supplier of aerospace bearing product, serving the industry with spherical, rod end, and journal plain bearings, ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, needle track roller bearings, cam follower bearings, tapered roller bearings, airframe control, thin section ball bearings, and ball bearing rod ends. RBC is focused on the aerospace industry and intends to continually complement its broad offering with new products, new technologies, and acquisitions.

RBC has a long tradition of engineering design excellence and innovation in creating solutions to problems, as our patents reflect. The company also strives to stay on the forefront of bearing material, plating, and design technology. Investing in qualified personnel, capital equipment, material and bearing testing is paramount. RBC also strives to continually refine its manufacturing processes, both to maintain the reputation for quality product and long life, and to remain the industry’s cost leader.

A very important part of our strategic vision is to develop/expand on a current business partnership with targeted customers. RBC’s goals, objectives, and investments support the aerospace market, while many companies are choosing to exit the industry. RBC believes that its objectives are soundly aligned with the needs of the aerospace industry, both short and long term. All of us at RBC look forward to supplying more of our aircraft offerings through all the RBC aerospace divisions participating in your business.

Warranty

RBC’s sole warranty is against defects in materials or workmanship. The foregoing warranty is exclusive, and in lieu of all other warranties (whether written, oral or implied) including, but not limited to, the warranty of merchantability, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. A no charge replacement will be made on any product manufactured by RBC, which upon examination by RBC, appears to be defective, provided it is returned to RBC, transportation prepaid, within ninety (90) days of date of sale, and further provided it has been properly installed or mounted and lubricated and not subject to abuse.