• BNL (UK) Limited Design and manufacture of plastic bearings and assemblies and technical mouldings that offer many advantages over the traditional heavy and expensive metal products.

  • Products

    • Plastic bearings
  • Applications

    • Automotive
    • Office machines
    • ATMs
    • Security cameras
    • Conveyors
    • Home appliances
  • Contribution to Group Revenue£14.9m
  • Share of Group Revenue %23%

BNL (UK) Limited

BNL has over 45 years’ experience of designing and manufacturing moulded plastic bearing solutions, developing their techniques and expertise over this time to produce a superior product that offers significant benefits over steel bearings, bushes and other plastic bearings in the market.

BNL is now the market leading specialist designer and manufacturer of innovative plastic bearings products – either through designing bespoke bearings or through its range of industry standard bearings.

In addition, BNL supports its customers globally with design and manufacturing sites around the world.

Design and development

BNL have dedicated and established teams in Engineering, R&D, Production and Sales, who possess unparalleled knowledge and experience of plastic bearing design and manufacture obtained over more than 40 years.

BNL’s engineering and production teams work in collaboration with our customers to build close relationships and enhance the product development process.

BNL adds value to its customers’ products by integrating BNL’s bearings into a component or product, to save space, weight, assembly and components costs and to increase performance, efficiency and even longevity of the product.

In addition to the bespoke bearings, BNL also has a range of industry standard bearings specially designed and manufactured for improved load carrying, wear rates and feel – giving an overall 80% increase in performance over standard machined bearings.

Manufacturing

BNL operates from two factories, one in the UK (Knaresborough, North Yorkshire) where complex assemblies and machining is carried out and one in Thailand (Rayong) where higher volume products destined for the Far East are made.

Customers

BNL provide engineered solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and market leading companies for a variety of applications. BNL’s customer base includes some of the world’s largest and well-known brands and our parts feature in globally respected products.

Products

BNL uses its expertise to produce innovative plastic rotating parts such as bearings. BNL uses its skills to exploit the opportunities to replace traditional heavy and expensive metal bearings products.

The majority of BNL’s bearings and assemblies are made from injection moulded Acetyl Polyoxymethylene (POM). This is a semi-crystalline, high performance, engineering polymer which delivers very good long-term wear performance and which is dimensionally stable when subject to load, temperature and most fluids, making the material idea for the bearings and functions demanded of them. POM has a density which is one fifth that of steel, with the potential to reduce both the number of parts needed in a particular product and the weight of the product, thereby reducing costs.

Competitive advantages

  • Strong reputation and relationship with major OEMs
  • Experience and scale in manufacturing custom designed plastic ball bearings
  • Depth, range and speed of technical solutions
  • Operational and product reliability
  • Cost edge advantage through Thailand

Benefits of plastic bearings

BNL’s plastic bearing solutions and assemblies offer a number of advantages over the traditional steel bearing. The benefits of these are:

  • Lightweight
  • Design flexibility – plastics is a more versatile material than metal as it can be moulded easily into complex shapes
  • Ability to reduce costs – can integrate features into a plastics ball bearing which would be very expensive in metal
  • No lubrication required
  • Corrosive resistant
  • Low torque
  • Non-magnetic
  • Reduced assembly costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs.

Market

The Group estimates the total world-wide market for standard and custom designed plastic bearings is worth £250m, and that the total market for metal ball bearings exceeds £10bn. This gives some indication of the opportunity and potential scale of the market available to plastics bearings.

The main applications and growth sectors for BNL’s bearings are currently in the following sectors:

  • Business machinery – such as photocopiers, printers and ATMs
  • Water and leisure –  such as pool cleaners and shower doors
  • Electrical and security applications – such as CCTV systems
  • Automotive industry  – such as steering columns
  • Household appliances – such as dishwashers and vacuum cleaners
  • Traditional products – such as poultry wheels.

Competition

BNL has no direct competitor on a global scale in the custom designed plastic bearings market. However, there are a few smaller regional competitors primarily in the USA and Japan.