Timken merges units into two divisions

The Timken Company has unveiled plans to restructure its business units, a move that will have an impact on all of its units, including its 800-worker aerospace division in Lebanon.

The Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer will combine its current Steel, Industrial and Automotive Groups – now made up of five divisions — into two groups. The Mobile Industries, Process Industries, Distribution & Services and Aerospace & Defense divisions — including the aerospace division in Lebanon — will be grouped under the new Bearing and Power Transmission unit while the Steel Group will remain as its own unit.

The move was prompted by changes to align the company around continued improvement in operational performance and acceleration of profitable growth, Timken officials said in a statement.

The company said it expects to save approximately $10 million to $20 million.

As part of the change, Timken named Michael C. Arnold as executive vice president and president of the Bearings and Power Transmission Group. Salvatore J. Miraglia Jr. will continue as president of the Steel Group.

The company also has named Jacqueline A. Dedo senior vice president of Innovation and Growth, responsible for leading the company’s strategic initiatives to accelerate the pace of innovation and growth.

While other reports of the restructuring mentioned the move was made to help eliminate redundancies, the company’s statement made no mention of employee layoffs.

Quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that most reductions, initially begun in 2005, came at Timken’s Automotive Group, with plant closures in Clinton, S.C., and Torrington, Conn., and Norcross, Ga., as well as a plant in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and the restructuring of a bearing plant in Vierzon, France, all of which will take place by 2008.

The company also performed what it termed were “rationalization measures” in a Canton, Ohio, industrial plant, with changes taking place between 2004 and 2007.

In April 2007, the company completed the closure of its European seamless steel tube facility in Desford, England.

Timken officials were not immediately available for comment. — CINDY KIBBE

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