Rotek Inc., a producer of large-diameter slewing ring bearings, has broken ground on the expansion of its Aurora, Ohio, facility. The $82 million expansion is expected to create up to 150 new jobs, bringing total employment at the facility up to 365. Rotek, a ThyssenKrupp company, operates an additional facility at Florence, Ky.

The investment includes the addition of a second ring mill at its captive forge shop to help meet growing demand in the U.S. for seamless rolled rings. With ring diameters of up to 280 inches and individual weights of 17 tons, the new SMS Meer RA W 400/400/6000 ring mill will be the most modern facility of its kind in the U.S., providing rolled rings for high-integrity applications in the wind energy, construction, tunneling and offshore markets.

Large-diameter slewing ring production at this site will be further expanded by the addition of a new 116,000-square-foot manufacturing plant housing the latest in production machinery and tooling. The new plant is expected to begin production in the first quarter of 2010.

“The planned expansion is an integral part of the company’s growth strategy,” said Leonard F. Osborne, Rotek’s president. “This significant investment represents our continued commitment to provide the highest-quality products and customer service possible.”

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, present at the groundbreaking ceremony, said, “Rotek is developing and manufacturing components for several high-growth industries, including wind energy, where Ohio has become a national leader with a strong competitive advantage. We welcome Rotek’s growth and the 150 new jobs in the city of Aurora.”