SKF will be relocating its super-precision bearing manufacturing unit from Stonehouse in the UK, to its existing production centres in Villar Perosa and Torino, Italy.
These super-precision bearings are used primarily in the machine tool sector, with most of the major European machine tool manufacturers now being based in southern and central Europe. The company therefore believes that concentrating its development and production resources at its Italian factories will enable it to improve its service to key customers.
Relocating the Stonehouse facility will result in 82 redundancies in the UK and SKF has been working closely with employees, unions and outplacement specialists to minimise the impact of the changes. In particular, the company has managed to redeploy some employees within other local SKF manufacturing units, while others have taken voluntary redundancy. Additionally, the company has provided the services of outplacement specialists to help staff find new jobs elsewhere, organise job search workshops and to offer access to retraining programmes in the local area.
SKF's factories in Villar Perosa and Torino already manufacture super-precision bearings, enabling the transfer of resources to be carried out relatively quickly between June and August 2009. The specification of all products currently manufactured in the UK will remain unchanged, as will the company's planned programme of new product development.