Sept.28, 2004

Minebea Co., Ltd.

A380 relies on bearings from Minebea

As a product of its globalization strategy, Minebea Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan has positioned itself as a major supplier to the Airbus A380 aircraft. Throughout the Airbus supply chain, Minebea has achieved more than 100 qualifications on a number of subsystems being designed specifically for the A380. This results in the potential to provide more than 850 bearings per aircraft. As the qualification is ongoing, the number of bearings supplied per aircraft is expected to increase.

Minebea is uniquely positioned to provide breadth of product on an international scale. By having manufacturing plants strategically located, the company is able to offer both standard and highly-engineered products, of both anti-friction and plain bearing (note 1) variety, to A380 subcontractors throughout the world. Through Minebea's global customer support teams, those products are brought to market efficiently and cost-effectively.

Minebea's products are found, as shown in the attached schematic drawing, in virtually all of the mechanical sub-systems on the aircraft, from the actuators that control the flaps and slats, to the fans that cool the cabin. The company provides rod end and spherical bearings (note 2), miniature & instrument bearings (note 3), and large ball and cylindrical roller bearings (note 4) for critical aircraft systems such as the engines, landing gear, power drive units, gearboxes, cooling fans, cargo systems and door actuators.

Minebea companies providing aerospace bearings to the A380 include New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc., in Peterborough, New Hampshire in the United States; NMB Minebea UK Ltd., in Lincoln, Lincolnshire in UK; and Karuizawa Manufacturing Unit in Miyota-machi, Nagano in Japan.

"The future of the A380 is undeniable," says Mr. Koichi Dosho, Director and Managing Executive Officer of Minebea in charge of Sales Headquarters, "We are proud to contribute to and share in the success of this aircraft."

(note 1)
anti-friction bearing: The basic structure is outer ring, inner ring, rolling elements between the outer and inner ring, and a retainer that separates the rolling elements. The rolling elements could be either balls or rollers.

plain bearing : Different than an anti-friction bearing, a plain bearing will not have rolling elements and the outer ring and inner ring will slide on each other.

(note 2) rod end and spherical bearings:
This bearing will not have any rolling elements and the outer ring and inner ring will slide on each other. Used in aircraft components, such as wing flaps, engine and wing mounts and hatches, rod-end and spherical bearings function as joints. These bearings are also used extensively in helicopters, trains and automobiles.

rod end and spherical bearings
<rod end and spherical bearings>

(note 3) miniature & instrument bearings
Ball bearings are machinery components, which comprise an outer ring, inner ring, balls, retainers, shields and snap rings. Miniature and instrument bearings mean ball bearings, up to 30mm in external diameter.

miniature & instrument bearings
<miniature & instrument bearings>

(note 4) large ball bearings :
These bearings are used primarily in aircraft applications, which demand superior performance. Accordingly, these bearings are highly-engineered to take advantage of the latest material and manufacturing technologies.

large ball bearings
<large ball bearings>

Cylindrical roller bearings : Roller bearings, which feature a roller housed between the inner and outer rings, are used primarily in aircraft engines to handle extremely high loads.

cylindrical roller bearings
<cylindrical roller bearings>
Minebea A380 Applications

For inquiries, please contact:

Minebea Co., Ltd.
Masaki Ishikawa
Corporate Communications /Investor Relations Office
Corporate Planning Department
ARCO Tower, 19th Floor,
1-8-1, Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8662
Tel : 81-3-5434-8637 / Fax : 03-5434-8607
E-mail : mishikaw@minebea.co.jp/
URL : http://www.minebea.co.jp/

New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc.
Robyn Nattila
Marketing Manager
175 Jaffrey Road, Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S.A. 03458-1709
Tel : 1-603-924-3311 / Fax : 1-603-924-6632
E-mail : rnattila@nhbb.com
URL : http://www.nhbb.com/Open in a new window

NMB Minebea UK LTD.
Mark Stansfield
Managing Director
Doddington Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN6 3RA, U.K.
Tel : 44-1522-500933 / Fax : 44-1522-500975
E-mail : mark.stansfield@nmb.co.uk
URL : http://www.nmb-minebea.co.uk/

Information in the press releases is current on the date of the announcement.
Product information, contact and other context are subject to change without prior notice.

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