ROLLWAY BEARING HISTORY
TAKING THE FIRST STEPS
When trolley car 764 first rolled down the tracks of the Syracuse Rapid Transit Line in 1908, it carried with it a new product that would eventually set the stage for a century of innovation. That drive through the streets of Syracuse marked the first time that bearings from the Railway Roller Bearing Company had been installed and tested.
But even that milestone wasn’t the true beginning of the company that would later become Rollway, a key brand in the Emerson Power Transmission™ portfolio of products. In 1880, Charles E. Lipe founded C.E. Lipe Co., a new venture that in 1895 became Department of Railway Roller Bearing Co., soon followed by yet another name: Lipe-Rollway Corp.
Throughout the early part of the 20th century, the fledgling company flourished. Incorporated in 1908, Railway Roller Bearing Company expanded steadily during World War I, producing general-purpose roller bearings for heavy-duty equipment used in steel, pulp and paper mills.
Soon after the end of the war, the company began manufacturing a new line of straight cylindrical roller bearings. And in 1923, the firm once more changed its name, to Rollway Roller Bearing Company, and expanded its offerings even further, with the introduction of a line of automotive roller bearings.
That product-line expansion continued throughout World War II and into the 21st century, as Rollway developed and delivered new products – and new solutions – to meet the demands of markets as diverse as aircraft, missiles, agriculture, construction and mining.
Today the company that first launched its product line on a single trolley car provides businesses and industries around the world with more than 8,000 different types of spherical, cylindrical and tapered roller bearings, ball bearings, and extra-large radial and thrust bearings. And the Rollway ® bearings line, originally produced only in Syracuse, New York, is now manufactured in multiple facilities around the globe.
EXPANDING BOUNDARIES – AND CAPABILITIES
As Rollway became increasingly known and respected throughout the bearing industry for its superior quality and custom-design capabilities, the company’s reputation for solving even the most demanding industrial-application challenges grew as well. That’s why, in 1974, the Romanian government sought out Rollway’s insight and expertise to manufacture a new line of large bearings.
By 1976, Rollway had won a $35 million contract to build a new manufacturing facility in Ploiesti, providing both the know-how and the equipment for the factory. The venture marked the beginning of what is now Rollway Belgium NV, based in Antwerp.
STRENGTHENING OUR INNOVATIVE SPIRIT
In 1996, Rollway found a perfect match for its innovative spirit: Emerson Power Transmission, a division of Emerson Industrial Automation, a world leader in the production of mechanical power transmission drives, bearings and components. Emerson Power Transmission brings customers everywhere more than a century of its own technology and engineering experience. It is part of one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovation and insight, providing solutions to customers around the world.
Backed by extraordinary technological capabilities and resources, Emerson Power Transmission enables Rollway to deliver customized, competitively valuable solutions that meet the unique needs of each of its customers.
Emerson Power Transmission today is a family of six respected product brands, including Rollway, that supply a variety of power transmission components designed to increase both uptime and productivity. Each of the company’s brands brings years of time-tested reliability and proven performance results.
THE NEXT 100 YEARS
The Emerson connection, along with Rollway’s own century long tradition of innovation, has helped move Rollway to the forefront of the bearing industry. As the company enters its second century of service, it remains synonymous with precision and quality craftsmanship and stands ready to keep business and industry moving ahead for the next 100 years.