Press Release

NSK Develops Ball Bearings Equipped with Retainer Plate for Vehicle Transmissions

Enabling More Compact, Lightweight Transmissions

Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2010 — NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) announced today that it has developed a Ball Bearing Equipped with Retainer Plate*1 capable of reducing the total length required for today's automotive transmissions. NSK expects rapidly expanding sales of this advanced new product capable of reducing fuel consumption. NSK is targeting sales of at least one billion yen by 2015.

*1 Retainer Plate: Part designed to secure bearings to the transmission case.

Ball Bearings Equipped with Retainer Plate for Vehicle Transmissions

The trend toward greater fuel efficiency of recent years has led to greater demand for more compact transmissions. The new Ball Bearing Equipped with Retainer Plate developed by NSK enables total transmission length to be reduced by approximately 4 mm compared with conventional bearings. As a result, transmissions using this NSK product will be more compact and lightweight, delivering better fuel efficiency.

NSK will aggressively market this product for application in manual transmission (MT) vehicles, which are generating high demand in emerging markets and Europe, and double clutch transmissions (DCT), a popular style of transmission in Europe that combines fuel efficiency with a sporty feel.

NSK will produce this product at manufacturing sites around the world, ensuring worldwide demand is met in a timely manner by shipping from the nearest facility.

Product features

Lighter, more compact transmissions
The Ball Bearing Equipped with Retainer Plate reduces total transmission length by approximately 4 mm by integrating the bearing outer ring with a retainer plate.
Enhanced operation
The retainer plate does not require firm tightening, making it easy to install onto the bearing. And the retainer plate's ability to rotate in relation to the bearing enables greater flexibility for mounting onto the case when it is installed on the transmission.

NSK uses a sealed configuration designed to prevent gear dust seeping into the ball bearings used inside transmissions. NSK's Ultra Low-friction Sealed Clean Ball Bearings and the High-tough (HTF) Long Life Bearings, which significantly increase product life and reliability, are now widely used by leading automobile manufacturers, both in Japan and around the world.

NSK has achieved compact, lightweight and low torque applications for automobiles by leveraging its four core technologies (tribology, materials, analysis, and mechatronics). The company has been developing these technologies for over 90 years, and is continuing to create products that will improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles.

NSK Bearing Products Strategically Geared to MTs/DCTs

NSK Bearing Products Strategically Geared to MTs/DCTs

Methods for Retaining Ball Bearings Used in MTs/DCTs

Manual Transmission

Development Features 1: Lighter and More Compact

Lighter and More Compact

Development Features 2: Smooth Rotation

The combination of a specially shaped snap ring and the claw-shaped bore in the retainer plate