The Journal of Industry and Technology

Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

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Precision bearings and condition monitoring

New European distribution agreement will mean faster lead
times for low volume custom engineered aerospace bearings

Carter Manufacturing Limited has signed a distribution agreement with US custom bearing specialist Napoleon Engineering Services (NES)  to provide custom engineered bearings in small and medium order quantities and on fast lead times to the aerospace industry and other markets in Europe.

Based in Olean, NY, USA, NES specialises in the manufacture of custom bearings, as well as bearing testing and inspection for a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace, defence, automotive, oil and gas, medical, and wind energy. NES specialises in the supply of custom engineered bearings with unique designs and superior raw materials, in small lot sizes and on fast lead times. Custom bearings include deep groove ball bearings, angular contact ball bearings, double row self-aligning bearings, needle roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings, in outside diameters that range from 20mm up to 350mm.

With its 22,000 square foot facility, NES combines the capabilities of a large bearing manufacturing facility with the precision and attention to detail of a small bearing shop. As Chris Napoleon, President and Chief Engineer at NES states: "Carter is a great fit for NES, as we are both niche providers of bearing products and services for similar markets. The aerospace industry in particular requires highly engineered bearing products in very small batch quantities but on faster lead times than the major global bearing suppliers can provide. Our typical lot size for custom bearings is 25 to 50 pieces, with lead times of between 12 and 26 weeks, which is significantly faster than other major bearing suppliers."

Expertise in space & aerospace
NES uses a wide variety of bearing materials to suit the customer's specific application, which can vary from satellite and UAV arm actuation systems to antennas, fuel pumps, ram air turbines, rocket engine valves, turbo pump, rotorcraft transmissions and aircraft turbine engines.

Typical bearings for aerospace applications utilise 440C, Cronidur ®30, XD15NW, 52100, M50, M50 NiL, Pyrowear® 675 and superelastic NiTiNOL 60 high-life materials and coatings. Rolling element material varies from 52100, 440C, M50, Cronidur® 30 and ceramic (silicon nitride). Precision machined cages can be supplied in bronze, steel, silver-plated bronze or steel, Nylon 6/6, PEEK, Vespel, Torlon® and Phenolic.

NES is also the largest independent Bearing Inspection and Bearing Testing facility in the USA and is well equipped to design and manufacture custom test rigs to meet clients' specific in-house research and development needs.

As a certified ISO9001:2008 and AS9100C company, NES can provide custom bearings and services for the aerospace industry, including custom aerospace bearing manufacture; aircraft bearing reverse engineering for Federal Aviation Administration Parts Manufacturing Approval (FAA-PMA); First Article Inspection (FAI) per AS9102; as well as other aerospace bearing testing and inspection services.

Karl Brundell, Managing Director of Carter Manufacturing Limited commented: "We are delighted to be appointed as the sole distributor for NES products and services in Europe. With our local market knowledge combined with NES' expertise in the manufacture of custom bearings for challenging applications, we would expect to see a great deal of interest from customers in Europe who will see strong opportunities for custom engineered bearings.

"In a marketplace that has traditionally been dominated by major global bearing manufacturers that require large volumes to start production, this new distribution agreement will provide a solution to satisfy this need," he added.

Carter Manufacturing in profile
Carter Manufacturing has been providing revolutionary ideas in motion since 1999, starting with the European distribution agreement for Carter Manufacturing Inc products, from which the name was adopted. The company has now grown its product portfolio to a range that services many specialist worldwide customers with bearings, bearing assemblies and linear products. We have exclusive European Master Distributor status for Carter Manufacturing Inc, Silverthin Precision Thin Section Bearings, Unasis Bearings & KMS and also have agreements in place with specialist premium manufacturers IBC, THK & Unitec.

Our company is focused on understanding our customer engineering problems and striving to find solutions that are tailored to each individual application. We have built up an in depth understanding of the way bearings interact with applications and are able to recognise and analyse bearing failures to determine how to progress and overcome problems effectively. Carter has proven industry ability to bring concepts from the drawing board through to realised products that work. Whether it is for prototype gearboxes, aircraft actuation components or advanced radar systems, Carter Manufacturing has provided and continues to provide solutions to ever more complex engineering requirements.

For further information on the Silverthin® range of precision thin section bearings, e-mail: or view website:

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