From our very beginning in 1920, first-rate, quality manufacturing has been a hallmark of Pioneer’s accomplishments and the primary way we grew our business. With our California heritage and experience as our rich legacy (as described in our history), today we perform all manufacturing and in-house repair work in our modern purpose-built plant we built and opened in 1990. In recent years, we added a third manufacturing bay and expanded our engineering offices. The plant is 34,000 square feet (3,159 sq. meters) under roof, entirely devoted to fluid film bearings and seals.
We manufacture and repair fluid film bearings ranging in size from outside diameters of a few inches to over 100 inches (254 centimeters), though the majority has bore sizes over 14”. With good overhead crane capacity, we efficiently handle bearings weighing up to 10,000 pounds (over 4.5 metric tons) for the largest turbines and generators at work in fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric power plant
For more than half a century, we’ve manufactured bearings for OEMs and end users of large land-based and offshore rotating equipment and the U.S. Navy.
Over the past 15 years an increasing percentage of production is devoted to our own designs, including our Fluid Pivot® JC and JS tilting pad journal bearings.
We design with 3-D CAD software and cut chips on state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools to produce the final product.
Proper and clear documentation and in-process inspection insures we avoid unwanted surprises at the stage of final inspection. Throughout the stages of manufacturing and repair work, we check bearings and seals with more accuracy and clearer documentation with the help of a portable computer-linked coordinate measuring instrument.
As a bearing company, the heart of our manufacturing and repair operations is our casting department. Continuing a tradition established more than 60 years ago in California, we have invested in the equipment necessary to use the tin emersion method of pre-tinning a bearing. That means we’re able to heat a bearing shell up to proper temperature faster and, unlike the method of using gas-fired torches, we’re applying heat evenly to the shell. That means we eliminate any chance of hot spots that could degrade the quality of the babbitt bond.