The testing facility focuses on large bearing systems and is the first of its kind in the Americas.
A collaboration between The Timken Co. www.timken.com) and Stark State College led to development of the new Technology and Test Center, the first testing facility of its kind to be constructed in the Americas. The $14 million center on Stark State College’s North Canton, Ohio, campus tests large bearing systems that can have up to 13-ft ODs on sophisticated equipment capable of simulating harsh operating conditions similar to those found in large multi-megawatt wind turbines. The new test facility is expected to shorten development cycles and improve the reliability and cost-effectiveness of these large rotating systems.
Testing capabilities within the 18,000-ft2 facility have the flexibility to focus on wind turbine applications as well as other large, rotating equipment for industries including off-shore oil rigs, mine trucks, electric shovels (in mining), steel rolling mills, cement vertical mills and hydraulic roll presses.
The test center also houses a classroom and lab for training Stark State students in electrical and mechanical engineering as well as alternative energy programs including solar and wind energy, oil and gas, and fuel cells. Stark State offers associate degrees, one-year and short-term certificates in those energy programs.
“This world-class testing facility will supply knowledge vital for the development of mechanical power-transmission component technologies in multiple industries,” said Douglas H. Smith, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Timken.
“This relationship between Stark State College and The Timken Company marks the latest collaboration between our two institutions to create advancements in technology and industry,” said Dr. Para M. Jones, president of Stark State College. “The test center is also an example of our joint commitment to develop education and training capabilities that support industry-leading clean energy programs.”
Officials from Timken and Stark State College were joined by a number of community and government leaders, including Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, to officially mark the opening of the Technology and Test Center, located on 15 acres near the Akron-Canton Airport. Funding for the project combines more than $6 million invested by Timken; $2.1 million from Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission; and a $1.5 million loan from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority’s Advanced Energy Jobs Stimulus Program. Stark State funded the land acquisition, site preparation, building construction and academic furnishings at total cost of $3 million, supported by a gift from the Timken Foundation, a private charitable family foundation.