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Promote Worldwide R&D Activities that Anticipate Market Trends by
Utilizing Tribology of Our Core Competence

R&D Strategies

Strengthen Core Technologies and Products, and Develop New Businesses

NTN contributes to the development of industry by conducting R&D activities continually anticipating market trends by utilizing our strengths in tribology (science and technology that includes the study and application of mechanisms of friction, wear and lubrication) and other technological fields.

Under the Medium-term Management Plan “DRIVE NTN100” started in 2018, NTN has been accelerating R&D activities globally, focusing on the two axes of “Strengthen core technologies and products that support our management foundation” and “Strengthen new business development.”

Strengths in Technology Fields

Technologies Cultivated from Development and Manufacturing of Bearings for More Than 100 Years

For more than 100 years from its foundation in 1918, NTN has been developing bearings and other products. Bearings are used in various types of machinery and are “eco-products” that reduce friction and energy consumption. NTN's strengths are tribology developed through the development of bearings, as well as heat treatment, precision processing, and precision measurement that are essential to manufacture bearings.

In recent years, NTN has been improving design and technological examination through applying CAE technology (technology that can design products, analyze structures and conduct tests more efficiently by utilizing computer systems) cultivated from development of products for automobiles in a wide range of fields.

Leveraging the strengths in these technological fields, NTN has been developing even more high performance, energy-saving, lightweight, and compact products. Through providing such products that are clean and contribute to reducing environmental impact, NTN aims to increase customer satisfaction while achieving NTN's sustainable growth.

R&D System

Build Global R&D System

NTN has R&D bases in Japan, Americas, Europe and China to develop R&D systems in order to respond to global market needs.

In addition to vigorous personnel and technological exchange between each base, they share information on design, prototyping, experiment, production engineering, and customer project in each region through data bases to accelerate the creation of new technologies and products from a global perspective.

Additionally, NTN has been accelerating R&D activities by incorporating cutting-edge technologies through industry-academia collaboration. In September 2017, “NTN Next Generation Research Alliance Laboratory” was established in the Graduate School of Engineering at the National University Corporation, Osaka University. It is conducting research that enables to predict the residual life of bearings by using artificial intelligence (AI) and to prevent bearing damage in advance.

Roles of R&D bases worldwide

Japan Advanced Technology R&D Center In order to achieve the latest (world's best and first), the staff works on advancing tribology, materials, surface modification, and powder technologies to improve bearing functions and create innovative Monozukuri technologies that lead to global environment conservation. It also conducts R&D including the development of components and systems, aiming for growth markets such as in new energy resources.
New Product Development R&D Center With comprehensive strength and flexibility which are derived from mutual collaborations of engineers and their originality, the staff works on the development of new products for automobiles, industrial machinery, and aftermarket applications. It also develops systemized modules for existing products to create new value-added products, and establish core technologies associated with it.
Production Engineering R&D Center The staff conducts R&D in production systems, production technologies, and production facilities with unprecedented unique technologies and core technologies that shall be inherited within the NTN Group. In addition, it provides solutions to the issues related to production technology when developing new products as well as the guidance and assistance on production technology issues for the entire NTN Group.
CAE R&D Center The staff conducts research on advanced CAE technology with cutting-edge technology and develops proprietary CAE programs, aiming to advance and streamline the process of designing, developing, prototyping, and experimenting for NTN Group's research and technology divisions by utilizing CAE technology.
NTN Next Generation Research Alliance Laboratory The staff conducts R&D by adopting the latest technologies through industry-academia collaboration, aiming to strengthen core technologies and create business in new areas.
Americas NTN Automotive Center (industrial machinery) The staff provides technical proposals as well as technical support based on customer requirements such as evaluation tests and application development.
NTN Automotive Center (automotive) The staff conducts evaluation tests, research and analysis for products after use, technical support based on customer requirement, technical proposals, and development for local procurement.
Europe NTN-SNR
R&D Center
By utilizing sensing technology of SNR ROULEMENTS, which joined the NTN Group in 2008 and became NTN-SNR having 100 years history, the staff works on the development of module products adapting to CASE and system product through collaboration with New Product Development R&D Center in Japan.
China NTN China Technical Center The staff provides sales engineering which contributes to solving customer problems, and conducts various evaluation tests, research and analysis of products after use. It also conducts evaluation and analysis of local materials in China, aiming to increase the rate of local procurement.

Internal System for Accelerating R&D

NTN continues to encourage employees in their creative efforts at developing new inventions. The “Patent Management Rule” as well as the “Patent Reward Rule” are established to reward our employees for their inventions. Foreign patents and know-how are also covered as inventions to be rewarded, and there is no upper limit on the reward payments.

Latest R&D Themes

For the latest R&D themes, please refer to the Integrated Report “NTN Report.”