The goal of the Kharkov Bearing Plant is not only to remain on the market today, but also to secure its future prospects. After a proper economic analysis, the investment project of HARP modernization was prepared and successfully adopted at the Kharkov Investment Committee on December 25, 2001. The project, which total cost is 26.7 million USD (13.7 million USD are direct investments of JSC UPEC and 13 million USD are funds of PJSC HARP), will provide a deep technological re-equipment of the company. The funds will be used for special workshop organization, renovation and modernization of turning and grinding equipment in order to improve its accuracy characteristics, as well as for purchasing of new equipment for new technologies.
So, let us find out the difference between the technologies, which are being implemented at present and which are already applied at the plant. At present, bearing rings are turned from pipes on fully-automated lathes. In this case, material utilization rate is 50%. New technology provides to manufacture the same blanks by forging method (by hot-stamping from the bar). A bar is much cheaper than a pipe, thus stamping is cheaper than machining, and moreover, there are no metal chips. As a result, the cost decreases significantly, thereby the quality improves (stamping hardens the metal). Another innovation is a change of the traditional method of ring shaping: instead of turning operations, cold-rolling will be applied. This method has the same advantages, in particular, better quality and lower cost. Required for the implementation of new technology equipment was purchased in Germany (rolling machines) and Russia (forging equipment). There are specialized Kharkov companies, in particular, the Kharkov Machine-Tool Plant (Harverst), which are involved in the modernization of turning and grinding machines. As a result, HARP plans to pass on to a higher class of bearings. According to the European standards, it is of P6 class with regulated noise and vibration levels. It means that the quality of HARP products will compete with the best international examples.
After the completion of technological modernization program, HARP will launch the production of bearings with high accuracy classes and limited noise and vibration level.
In addition to the improvement of the quality of the current HARP product range, the plant develops and masters new innovative bearing types. In particular, HARP launched the production of so-called «cylindrical cartridge» – double bearing CRU Duplex for standard railway cars with axle load of 23.5 tons (which provide maintenance-free period of 800 000 km or 8 years of warranty). At the moment, there are active works on production arrangement and organization of the TBU tapered cartridge bearings for standard railway cars with axle load of 23.5 tons, 25 tons and above. Unique technologies of surface treatment of the rollers, inner and outer ring raceways are used in the manufacture of innovative products.