After securing a new five-year labor agreement, officials at the Timken Company recently announced they will move forward with a $225-million investment at the Faircrest Steel Plant in Stark County, Ohio. With this investment, the specialty alloy steel manufacturer will improve productivity, expand its product range and increase capacity to serve growing demand for alloy steel bars.

"We are seeing growing demand for Timken specialty steel to support the most demanding energy and industrial applications," said Salvatore J. Miraglia Jr., Timken’s president. "This is the right time to make the kind of investment that will improve our operating performance while also expanding our capacity and size range for these products. Combined, that will strengthen our ability to serve these important industries and position the business for continued profitable growth and greater shareholder value."

The ratification of a new extended labor agreement between Timken and members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local­­ 1123 established workforce stability through project construction and startup in 2014. The labor agreement covers four facilities in Stark County through September 2017 and replaces an agreement that would have expired in the midst of the project's startup in 2013.

A new ladle refiner and large-bloom continuous caster are central to the productivity gains from the investment. The new equipment also is expected to increase the Faircrest operation's shippable capacity by 25 percent and enable the production of a broader range of large-diameter bars.

"We have a highly skilled, capable workforce committed to continuous improvement," said Thomas D. Moline, vice president of steel manufacturing. "Our team understands what it takes to make custom-melted, high-quality alloy bars and tubes that meet our customers' exacting metallurgical requirements. This investment, which is the largest since opening the plant in 1985, builds on those skills to improve our productivity while giving us the ability to offer even more to the customers who rely on us for their own success."

Known for its power-transmission products that include bearings, gears and related components, Timken reported sales of $5.2 billion in 2011 with 21,000 people operating from locations in 30 countries. For more information, visit www.timken.com.