Press Release

Zollern Teams with Pioneer Motor Bearing Co. to Enhance Support to Zollern Bearing Customers in North America

The Zollern Group’s Plain Bearing Technology division has entered into an exclusive technology license agreement with Pioneer Motor Bearing Company of the U.S. to strengthen its after-sale customer support.  The agreement empowers Pioneer to use Zollern proprietary information to provide a range of technical support services to North American end-users of Zollern hydrodynamic plain bearings.

Zollern’s Plain Bearing Technology division operates four bearing manufacturing plants in Germany, France and Brazil, and has worked with Pioneer for several years on an informal basis to serve the aftermarket requirements of Zollern customers.  Pioneer’s President, Ray Harrington, said, “We’ve developed very good relations with Zollern over the past seven years and been to all their plants, so this formal cooperative agreement is a carefully designed effort to boost the value Zollern provides its customers by making their lives more convenient.”

Value to Zollern Customers

Pioneer’s appointment as Zollern’s exclusive licensee in North America for technical support services assures Zollern OEM and end-user customers on the continent of regional product support and a degree of stand-by emergency U.S manufacturing capability.

“This agreement is a product of the Zollern Group’s philosophy of global thinking and local interaction,” remarked Udo Heukrodt, Managing Director of Zollern’s Plain Bearing Technology division.  “One of the purchasing criteria all customers have for new products is service and support after the sale. Our collaboration with Pioneer enables us to provide a rapid response to customer requirements in or much closer to their time zone.”

Technical Support Services

The types of services available to Zollern bearing customers cover the full gamut of concerns in the aftermarket, including:

  • Inspection and engineering evaluation of machinery dynamics; the operation of ZOLLERN bearings; root cause analysis of bearing damage, etc., at the customer’s site when advisable.
  • Inspection, repair and design upgrade capability for ZOLLERN bearings at Pioneer’s manufacturing and engineering facility in North Carolina.
  • Replacement of plain bearings with original ZOLLERN plain bearings when required by a ZOLLERN customer.


Founded more than 300 years ago, the Zollern Group is a leading supplier in the metal processing industry and has a wide range of manufacturing techniques that have been developed and perfected during the course of its long history.  Approximately 3,000 employees in five business units design, produce, sell and service a product range of innovative metal products at 22 production facilities and subsidiaries in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Almost 100 years of experience in the development and manufacture of metal slide bearings and highly developed production processes for slide bearing composite materials make Zollern’s Bearing Technology business a global leader in the field.

Zollern hydrodynamic plain bearings have a large installed base in both reciprocating and rotating equipment:  diesel engines in ships, locomotives and stationary plants; and steam, gas and wind turbines, generators, large electric motors, gearboxes and many more machine types worldwide.


Founded almost 100 years ago, Pioneer Motor Bearing Company is a leading U.S. company engaged in engineering design and trouble shooting, manufacturing, service and repair of fluid film hydrodynamic bearings and seals, primarily in the nuclear, hydro, coal and gas segments of the electric utility industry, with marine, petro-chemical, oil and gas as secondary markets, providing OEMs and end-users with:

  • Bearing-related professional engineering services, including rotordynamics and machine analysis
  • Technical services and training (including on-site at customers’ locations)
  • Manufacturing services (to customers’ and Pioneer’s designs)
  • Repair, service and design upgrades, including on an emergency basis

Pioneer maintains the oldest continuing fluid film bearing service independent of OEMs in North America.  Pioneer’s proprietary Fluid Pivot® tilting pad radial bearing technology has been established and refined since the late 1960’s.

In addition to Zollern, Pioneer is a licensee of General Electric Technologies GmbH (Switzerland), Siemens Energy, Inc. (USA), and Michell Bearings (U.K.) for the repair of bearings designed by those firms.  Pioneer’s C.E.O., Gordon Bardet, said “As a fourth-generation family owned and managed business, we’re proud that such a respected established German bearing company sought us out to become its alliance partner for the North American market.  We have first-in-class bearing engineering expertise, technical excellence and service and we’ll bring this to bear to assist Zollern customers in the North American aftermarket.”

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