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Koyo, a brand of JTEKT Corporation, is one of the leading suppliers of OEM and aftermarket automotive wheel bearings. Koyo Seiko was a company started by Ikeda in 1921. The company first marketed imported bearings and later started producing bearings on its own. In 1941, Toyoda Machine Works Limited was started as an independent company from Toyota Motor Corporation's Machine Tools Division. Two years later, in 1943, Toyoda acquired Koyo Seiki and used the company as one of its facilities to manufacture parts. In 1958, the American Koyo Corporation, currently known as the Koyo Corporation of U.S.A., was established. This was the brand's first office outside Japan. In 1960, the company started manufacturing steering systems. The first electronically-controlled power steering system in the world was developed by Koyo in 1983. The succeeding year saw the development of ceramic bearings, which the company built with Toshiba Corporation.
In 2006, Koyo and Toyoda Machine Works merged to form JTEKT Corporation. JTEKT, headquartered in Japan, continues to offer bearings under the Koyo brand. In the same year of the merger, the brand introduced the LFT3 ultra-low-torque tapered roller bearings. The other products manufactured by JTEKT include steering systems, driveline parts and machine tools. Koyo designs and produces all types of bearings ranging from small bearings that have an inner diameter of one millimeter, to large bearings that have an outer diameter of up to 7 meters.
Over its years of history, the company has manufactured an extensive range of bearings. In 1952, the brand started producing water pump bearings. HICAP taper roller bearings went into production in 1968. It was followed by the release of the automatic center adjustment clutch release bearings in 1974. The 1980s saw the development of shaft bearings for high-speed alternators and low friction-torque first generation roller bearings. In 1993, Koyo started offering long-life taper roller bearings. Ceramic ball bearings for turbos were introduced in 1997.
The current line of wheel bearings offered by the brand includes angular contact ball, deep groove ball, tapered roller, needle roller, spherical roller, cylindrical roller and thrust bearings. The angular contact ball bearings are offered in various configurations: single- or double-row, matched pair and four-point contact. The tapered ball bearings are available as single-row and double-row bearings while the cylinder roller bearings are marketed in designs of single, two and four rows. The ceramic and EXSEV line of bearings provide high resistance to heat and corrosion and are therefore employed in applications where a lot of heat is generated.
Koyo bearings are manufactured using highly-advanced technologies to ensure exact dimensions. The company has established 18 manufacturing facilities and 6 research and development technical engineering centers across the world. In addition to providing bearings for vehicles, the brand also focuses on manufacturing bearings for various markets including agriculture and construction, gears, reducers and general machinery.
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