Profile: Bob Swiatek

If There's A Better Way, Bob Swiatek Will Find It


Bob Swiatek

BEHIND THE SCENES IN EVERY FORWARD-LOOKING COMPANY LIKE GBC there are always people like Bob Swiatek. A bearing industry engineer for more than 36 years, he joined General Bearing in 1987 and has been a force in keeping the wheels turning smoothly ever since.

After the initial two years at GBC's Blauvelt location as Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, Bob was assigned to our Union, NJ plant in a comparable position. The plant, called Hyatt Railway Products, was established to manufacture the traction-motor and journal-box bearings formerly supplied to the rail lines by General Motors' Hyatt Clark Division.

Over the next five years, Bob was responsible for many operational improvements including the automation of certain procedures. When 90% of Hyatt Railway's equipment was shipped to Shanghai General Bearing, our first joint venture in China, Bob continued to advise on operating procedures by long distance. Consultations continue to this day.

The remaining Hyatt Railway Products equipment came to our West Nyack headquarters and has been seamlessly incorporated into GBC operations under Bob's direction. Journal-box components, traction-motor and journal-box roller bearings are now produced here exclusively.

Also transferred from Hyatt Railway were the production lines for 4" to 8" tapered roller bearings. Originally two lines, Bob Swiatek has created a third line 'from scratch.' These lines have become key equipment in West Nyack production.

As Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, Bob is responsible for production efficiency and determining the best ways to manufacture new products. Bob also engineers process improvements to accommodate specific customer requirements.

About a year ago, GBC received a substantial contract from Ford Motor Company for ball bearings of various sizes. An inspection operation was required to be incorporated into the packaging procedure.

Bob accomplished this by splitting the feeder and packing units and adding a built-in inspection device to provide quality control of each part. Bob designed this in-house creation and saved the company $100,000 over a purchase from outside sources. Four more of these units have been built to date.

Automation plans continue. A similar automated inspection device has also been created to monitor a new universal-joint cup for Ford, produced by our Ningbo GBC joint venture. It's a key component of an innovative system in West Nyack. This system unloads u-joint cups received from Ningbo GBC in 255-unit boxes--automatically inspects them--then repacks in 15,000-unit containers for shipment to Ford.

A new automated assembly line--augmenting the current lines in West Nyack--will soon be installed to handle 4" to 8" tapered roller bearings. This is part of the ongoing plan to continually upgrade manufacturing operations under Bob Swiatek's competent direction.

Bob's great depth of expertise began in the '60s when he took his first job at General Motors' New Departure Hyatt Division and became production engineer in charge of front-wheel bearing grinding and assembly. He continued with GM until the plant closed in '81.

Then, when employees bought out the General Motors operation, he became Manager of Manufacturing Engineering at the newly-created Hyatt Clark Industries in Clark, NJ for the next 5 years.

In 1986,General Bearing acquired the assets of Hyatt Clark. One of the major assets the company received was Bob. He has made one major contribution after another to our company’s growth ever since.

Bob is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He also has an MS in Industrial Engineering from NJIT. After graduating from Rutgers, he served four years as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the U.S. Navy with the SeaBees.

In his professional life, Bob has dedicated decades of innovative skills and effort to advancing the bearing industry and is an invaluable member of the General Bearing team.