Aleksejs Lorencs, the Commercial Director at Baltic Bearing Company in Riga, Latvia, played a significant role in the company’s start-up phase and is a key contributor to its success. In a recent interview, he discussed the company’s history, status, and future plans.
Aleksejs was asked about his past experiences and present work at Baltic Bearing Company.
“My life has been connected with bearings for more than 15 years. During this time, I managed to visit different roles. First as manager at my company that purchased bearings and used them in my own production. Switched to a new company that sold bearings and was a distributor of many well-known premium brands, and currently, for more than 6 years I have been holding the position of Commercial Director and manage the sales of bearings in the group of companies Baltic Bearing Company.”
“With our team, we created everything from 0 (Zero). It was a very interesting challenge, in a professional sense. Personally, this is the most ideal combination of work processes, involving in the sales of bearing which were produced in-house. At the production plant, I have the chance to influence many of the technical parameters of the bearings we produce and adapt our production to the needs of the customers. We managed to assemble an excellent team over the last years, despite the crises of recent years, we have been able to increase sales and increase production rates. Today we have distributors on 4 continents, from Taiwan to USA. Hundreds of distributors and end users. Over the past years, BBC-R bearings have earned the deserved trust of both small consumers and large international concerns. And I’m proud to be a part of this success story.”
On the history of Baltic Bearing Company, Aleksejs Lorencs said, “Baltic Bearing Company is one of the newest manufacturing facilities in Europe, the only one in the Baltic States and the first Plant in Latvia which produces bearings since 2015. The construction of the production premises in Riga, which is the capital of Latvia, lasted for three years. Today Riga is an international transport hub in the northeast of Europe and has always been a large trading city with a developed industry. Proximity to the sea and developed logistics connect the capital of Latvia with all the countries of Eastern and Western Europe and the CIS countries.”
“Taking into account the specifics of the business project, marketing research and goals for the development of the company’s sales, the choice of this location was an excellent decision. The total area of the plant is 7100 square meters, of which the production area is 5000 square meters. The plant now employs more than 150 people and is constantly expanding its workforce. We have implemented a training and development program for our employees. The company pays special attention to the quality control of the production, has the most advanced and modern QC equipment at the quality control laboratory.”
What products does Baltic Bearing Company manufacture?
According to Aleksejs they produce: standard ball (DGBB, ACBB, TBB) and roller (spherical, tapered, cylindrical) bearings as well as pillow blocks and special series of bearings (EMQ, EXV and bearing units for agriculture). There are over 200 units of modern high precision equipment installed in our plant’s production shops, including machining centres, CNC machines, flat surface and centreless grinders, assembly lines of the leading industry’s manufacturers.
The production process at the plant starts with the receipt of the materials from suppliers of a machined blank with standardized allowances for its further heat-treatment, grinding and assembly operations. Heat-treatment provides parameters of the metal structure and hardness of the blank. In the course of grinding treatment, work surfaces are formed at starting operations. So the edges of internal and external rings and an external cylindrical surface of the external rings are firstly processed. During the subsequent operations, work surfaces are formed and passed to grinding and superfinishing treatment, where the bearing raceways, borders and fitment bores are processed. Precision of the equipment at all production stages allows them to manufacture rings into assembled bearings with the accuracy grade of 6 and above. Methods of the statistical regulation of technological processes are implemented at all operations (SPC).
When asked about some of their target markets and applications:
He said, “To date, our company has taken a strong position in the supply of deep groove ball and tapered roller bearings to OEM customers from Europe, North Africa and Latin America. BBC-R pillow blocks are also very popular in Latin America, customers appreciated the ratio of the cost of bearings and their quality. We also produce special series of EMQ bearings for electric motors and vibration-resistant spherical roller bearings (EXV series). These series are our special projects, as well as the agro nomenclature of bearing units for agricultural machinery.
Our main consumers are companies that are not ready to overpay money only for a well-known brand. Customers who do not want to use Chinese bearings due to complex logistics issues and who want to use a good quality European product at reasonable prices.”
How does the Baltic Bearing Company differ from other competitors on the market?
Aleksejs, “We have our own production, which allows us to provide a balance between competitive prices and a stable level of quality; big warehouse; a flexible price policy and excellent service. We try to do our best to change for the better every day, in order to comply with high demands of our current and new customers. Currently there are many so called ‘European manufacturers’ who actually do not have any production facilities. We are always very open and transparent to show our production and premises to our customers. Our doors are always open for any inspections and audits since we are very proud of the production and confident in the quality of our bearings.”
What are the current challenges and opportunities for the bearing industry and how do you see the future of the market?
Aleksejs Lorencs, “The main problem of the industry is that there are many cheap bearings made in China on the market, which do not provide stable quality, but break the price policy. This leads to the fact that the miser pays twice. About the future, the bearing industry is constantly evolving. Our production works every day to improve technological processes in order to comply with current market trends. We are building our strategy on the understanding that two main things will be the most important in our industry: consistent product quality and flexibility in dealing with customer requests, allowing us to quickly respond to their individual wishes. We will continue to work on expanding the range of manufactured bearings and bearing units, improving the design of current products and providing stability the service quality.”