Press Releases

Timken Sure-Fit™ Universal Backing Ring Reduces Loose Backing Rings on Rail Axles

CANTON, Ohio, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Timken today announced the development of the Sure-Fit(TM) universal backing ring, a product that significantly reduces loose backing rings in bearings on untoleranced rail car axles.

"Loose backing rings have plagued the industry for more than 30 years, costing railways more than $60 million each year in premature wheel set removals," said Mathew W. Happach, president - rail. "Timken is proud to be the first rail supplier to introduce a cost-effective solution."

The Timken Sure-Fit™ universal backing ring, which recently received conditional approval by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), helps to provide an interference fit between the axle dust guard diameter section and the backing ring. On untoleranced axles, this significantly reduces the potential for the backing ring to loosen in service.

"We designed the Sure-Fit universal backing ring as a versatile part for use on both untoleranced and toleranced axles and with new or reconditioned bearings," said David G. Toth, chief engineer - rail. "It can be applied to axles with dust guard diameters of up to 0.050" below the nominal size on a toleranced axle, meaning an axle which is properly dimensioned for a standard fitted backing ring application."

The Sure-Fit universal backing ring offers enhanced journal axle fillet protection and can improve safety and reliability.

"Timken is helping customers maximize their wheel set investments and reduce maintenance costs associated with premature removals," said Happach. "This product is another example of how Timken is moving beyond bearings to offer customers solutions that save them money by helping their overall systems perform better."

Timken's rail business offers Timken® AP™, SP™ and AP-2™ bearings, which are self-contained, pre-assembled and pre-lubricated tapered roller bearings that reduce maintenance costs and achieve more miles per bearing. Timken also supplies the HDL™ seal and other related products and services, including premium rail bearing grease and reconditioning services.

The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR, is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered bearings and alloy steels and a provider of related products and services with operations in 29 countries. The company recorded 2003 sales of $3.8 billion and employed approximately 26,000 at year-end.

Media Contact: Robert G. Bourquin, Senior Communications Representative
(330) 471-7106

Investor Contact: Kevin R. Beck, Manager - Investor Relations,
(330) 471-7181


SOURCE The Timken Company