NTN began in 1918 when investor Noboru Niwa, his sales company Tomoe Trading Co., and engineer Jiro Nishizono joined together to design and manufacture the first NTN ball bearings.
By 1939, NTN had constructed what would become its global manufacturing center, Kuwana Works, and in 1954, NTN became the first Japanese industrial manufacturer to be awarded the prestigious Deming Prize for statistical quality control. NTN continued to grow throughout the 1950s and 1960s as additional factories were built and NTN sales operations expanded to Europe.
NTN Bearing Corporation of America was established in 1963 to support local sales of NTN bearings in the American market. NTN was now capable of manufacturing ball bearings, spherical, tapered, cylindrical, and needle roller bearings and automotive constant velocity joints. By the mid 1980s, NTN had acquired the Bower™ brand from Federal-Mogul Corporation, thereby expanding the company’s catalogue of tapered and cylindrical roller bearings. Ten years later, NTN acquired BCA™, again from Federal-Mogul, to round out its product line with automotive clutch release bearings and specialty agricultural bearing assemblies.
NTN’s success has continued into the new millennium with seven new North American plants.
A two-year, phased investment in French bearing manufacturer SNR was completed in 2008, with NTN acquiring a controlling stake in the company. As the fifth largest bearing manufacturer in Europe, SNR’s involvement in Aerospace and its superior spherical roller bearing products have been key contributors to NTN’s continued growth.
Today, NTN operates more than fifty plants worldwide and is the third largest bearing manufacturer in the world.