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Recession Leads to Temporary Shutdown at Bearing Factory

By Bearing Manufacturer>Bearing News>Recession Leads to Temporary Shutdown at Bearing Factory

One of Luton's major manufacturers, SKF, is to close its Sundon Park factory for a week to save money. The engineering company says 300 of its 400-strong Luton workforce will be affected by the shutdown, and will be asked to take the time as paid or unpaid holiday.

The factory, in Sundon Park Road, makes roller bearings for use in heavy engineering work such as quarrying, paper and metals. Manager Heike Sengstschmid said SKF had been affected by the worldwide economic downturn, experiencing a drop in demand from its customers in the automotive, paper and general engineering sectors.

He said: "Although this is offset by stronger revenues from aerospace and other specialised markets, we still need to take measures that will ensure we meet short-term fluctuations in demand while creating an even stronger operating base for when the global economy recovers."

The company employs a total of 44,799 people, and says temporary closures are also taking place at other SKF sites around the world. Dr Sengstschmid added: "This will enable us to reduce stock levels and cut operating costs without affecting our flexibility to respond to customer demands.

"Most importantly, the measures we're taking will help us protect the future of our highly skilled workforce in Luton."

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