Company News

Thordon Bearings Celebrates Anniversary, Makes New Hires, Charts New Directions

Thordon Bearings, one of the most respected names in the marine industry, celebrates its 110th anniversary this year. Founded in 1911, and having pioneered the use of greaseless and water-based bearings in the industry since 1967, Thordon is not sitting on its considerable laurels. Instead, it is reorganizing and bringing in new leaders to help it expand its global mission of protecting the environment while providing solutions to marine transportation.

The company, which remains family owned, appointed Anthony Hamilton as its new technical director earlier this year. Reporting directly to Thordon CEO Anna Galoni, Hamilton will lead the company’s engineering, computer-assisted design (CAD) and new product development teams. 

Hamilton brings a rich maritime heritage to Thordon. After graduating from Ireland’s Munster Technological University in 1985 with a degree in marine engineering, he served on tankers and bulk carriers before taking engineering roles ashore. After moving to Canada and completing a master’s degree in design and manufacturing engineering at McMaster University, Hamilton spent 10 years at Siemens AG in Hamilton, Ontario, then worked in the nuclear industry with Atomic Energy of Canada and Kinectrics Inc. He subsequently established an engineering consultancy, Sthenos Consulting, which worked with clients that included the Royal Canadian Navy and Irving Shipbuilding.

Hamilton’s hiring came along with several other hires and internal personnel moves as the company looks ahead. “We constantly strive to listen to our customers and ensure our products help meet their business goals keeping their boats in the water generating revenue,” Hamilton told The Waterways Journal. 

“To stay ahead of our competition, we manufacture products that require little to no maintenance and are quick and easy to install.  When a problem does occur, we get products to the shipyard via timely delivery.. Vessel owners get pretty upset when they have to drydock, or they are waiting for a part.”   

Thordon has several new products in the works, Hamilton said. “Our new reduced-length version of the TG100 is about to hit the market.  It is shorter and lighter than the traditional TG100. All possible maintenance parts are universal.  The new seal’s mounting flange is designed to avoid the use of an adaptor plate in most cases.”

From their beginnings in 1967, Thordon’s greaseless water-lubricated polymer bearings were developed at a time of increasing awareness of ocean pollution. In 2019, third-generation owner Sandy Thomson won the Elmer A. Sperry award for advancing the art of transportation by leading the innovation for water-lubricated main propulsion shaft bearings for marine transport through the application of polymeric compounds. 

“We manufacture products that eliminate the use of oil and grease from workboats, and that eliminates a source of pollution from our rivers and seas,” Hamilton said. “With the longevity and performance of Thordon’s grease-free rudder, steering gear and deck equipment products, there is no need to use grease ever again.  This is true for all ships, as well as hydro turbines and vertical pumps, two other markets where Thordon bearings eliminate oil and grease from the environment.”

“We share a deep concern about the future of our planet, and concern for the environment is at the core of our beliefs and everything we do,” Hamilton said. “We believe that having products that eliminate oil and grease pollution and offer reduced maintenance and operation costs are a winning combination for the ship owner as well as the planet.”