Timken Pedestal Bearing Strengthens Swiss Mine-Clearance Equipment


Company donates 20 bearing units to the Digger Foundation

NORTH CANTON, Ohio: July 21, 2014 – The Timken Company is assisting humanitarian mine-clearance operations in war-torn areas by donating 20 Timken® spherical roller bearing housed units to the Digger Foundation in Switzerland. The nonprofit organization will install the Timken bearings on its Digger D250 mine-clearance machines. Timken appreciates and supports the creativity of Digger in finding professional solutions to save lives and limbs through partnerships with commercial donors.


The high-performance housed units contain Timken spherical roller bearings (75 mm inner bore) with nitrided steel cages in a solid, cast-steel housing and special labyrinth seals. Reliable performance, easy assembly and extremely low-maintenance make these units ideal for use with the Digger D250. They help keep the machine’s powerful tiller in position. The tiller reaches a top speed of 450 revolutions per minute and crushes the ground up to a depth of 25 centimeters (nearly 10 inches), causing buried mines to explode. The housing and bearings must withstand these explosions as well as other demands of the application.


“The pedestal bearings from another manufacturer that we had previously installed could not withstand the enormous stresses from the anti-tank mines, since the bearing housing was made from hollow cast iron,” explained Thomas Dalla Piazza, chief engineer at Digger. “Also the bearing seals were not well-suited to the special environmental conditions under which our mine clearance equipment is used. In contrast, we have had excellent experience with the Timken bearings because their labyrinth seals almost completely protect against any penetrating dirt and dust.”


The Digger D250, with its rapidly turning tiller, crushes the soil and explodes the anti-personnel mines and anti-tank mines.

The 12-ton Digger D250 mine-clearance machine is built-to-order in three to four months. To ensure the operator’s safety, the vehicle is remotely controlled from a distance of up to 500 meters (about a third of a mile).




In a current test at the Swedish EOD and Demining Centre/Swedec, the Digger exploded 450 anti-personnel mines and three anti-tank mines with up to 8 kg of TNT and the Timken® bearings continued to function flawlessly

“I am proud to work for a company that is willing to contribute its expertise and products to the noble efforts of the Digger Foundation,” said Michael Hinterreiter, senior sales engineer at Timken. “Our spherical roller housed unit bearings have proved themselves in one of the hardest tests possible – at the Swedish EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) and Demining Centre/Swedec. The Digger exploded 450 anti-personnel mines and three anti-tank mines with up to 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of TNT – and the bearings continue to function flawlessly.”


Timken® housed units featuring Timken® spherical bearings keep the tiller of the Digger D250 in position


About Digger

The Digger Foundation (www.digger.ch) is a nonprofit organization with its head office in Tavannes in the Bernese Jura mountains, whose charitable status is recognized in Switzerland. It promotes technological aid projects in the field of humanitarian mine clearance. It develops, produces and distributes mine clearance equipment under the name of DIGGER DTR, which stands for Swiss expertise in terms of the industry standard and technology. The machines support the mine clearance operators and make their work more efficient, less dangerous and more cost-effective. Digger has a track record of successful deployments in the Sudan and South Sudan, Chad, Senegal, Mozambique, Benin, Mali, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia.


They keep the Digger running (left to right): Pierre Glauser (Digger/ After-Sales Service), Michael Hinterreiter (Timken/ Senior Sales Engineer), Thomas Dalla Piazza (Digger/ Chief Engineer) and Frédéric Razakarivony (Digger/ Customer Support)

About The Timken Company

The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR; www.timken.com) engineers, manufactures and markets Timken® bearings, transmissions, gearboxes, chain, and related products, and offers a spectrum of power system rebuild and repair services around the world. The leading authority on tapered roller bearings, Timken today applies its deep knowledge of metallurgy, tribology and power transmission across the broad spectrum of bearings and related systems to improve the reliability and efficiency of machinery and equipment all around the world. Known for its quality products and collaborative technical sales model, Timken posted $3 billion in sales in 2013 (excluding Steel business sales). With approximately 17,000 people operating from 28 countries, Timken makes the world more productive and keeps industry in motion.



The high-performance spherical roller bearings of the Timken bearing units (top photo) are installed in a solid cast housing that withstands the extreme stresses when the Digger is used. The previously installed, hollow bearing units from another manufacturer (lower photo, left bearing) broke prematurely and had to be replaced frequently

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Ray DeVries
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