Miniature Bearings Factory history goes back to the First Moscow Ball Bearing Factory (GPZ-1) that expanded its product range with the aircraft engine bearings and instrument bearings for military hardware in 1936. In the Factory's tech lab, a group of experts led by Yakov Marusov was creating bench machines, devices and developing special technology for miniature bearings manufacturing as the first production site was established. In 1939, the instrument bearings workshop was already in operation producing bearings with bore diameter of 5 mm and balls diameter of 2.5 mm.
After the Factory was evacuated to Kuybyshev, as a part of the State Ball Bearing Factory No. 4 (GPZ-4) already, the Marusov’s team continued its work after being relocated to the newly created research site for the production of the miniature bearings to the small premises in the Lindov Gorodok area (today, this area between Michurin Street and Moskovskoe Highway accommodates shopping and office centers).
In 1944, Yakov Yusim, the Director of the State Ball Bearing Factory No. 4, addressed State Defense Committee with a proposal to include the construction of a branch Factory for mass production of precision instrument bearings for precision instrumentation in the construction plan.
On April 7, 1948, the design assignment for the construction of the GPZ-4 Branch in the forest area at the 18th km of Kuibyshev suburb was approved. Boris Makler, an experienced expert that accompanied the First Moscow Ball Bearing Factory during the evacuation, was assigned as the Director of Construction.
In spring 1949, the construction works on Building No. 1 began.
In 1953, the construction of Administrative, Auxiliary Buildings, and Building No. 1 was completed. Ivan Abramov was appointed the Head of the Branch.
In November 1953, the installation and start-up of the bearing ring automatic lathe, ball smooth finishing machines, and of the press for bearing cage manufacturing began.
The design assignment for the construction of the GPZ-4 Branch.
The Order on putting into operation the Buildings of the GPZ-4 Branch
In December 1953, Branch No. 2 of the main Factory was equipped with necessary equipment, so the teams of polishers, grinders, assembly workers were reassigned.
On December 29, 1953, E. Chursina's team assembled first bearings.
On January 5, 1954, the engineering control department approved the first batch of products. Now this date is considered the birthday of MBF.
In the picture: forewoman E. Chursina mentors an assembly worker.
The Branch of the Factory manufactured 4.7 million pieces of bearings with the product range of 233 sizes.
Leonid Brezhnev visited the factory. During his visit, the decision was made to purchase modern metalworking machinery both of domestic and foreign origin.
Building No. 2 (Workshop No. 2) was built. The Branch’s factory load for the year was increased to 6 million pieces of bearings.
Nikolay Krutykh was appointed as the Head of the Branch. Headed by him, both the Factory and the surrounding areas’ (now known as 18 km settlement) development increases intensively. New production buildings of the Branch were put into operation: Building No. 5 (Workshops Nos. 11, 12) was built.
Buildings No. 4 (Workshop No. 4) and No. 6 (Workshops Nos. 21, 22) were built. Spindle and instrumental production (SIP) was launched.
Engineering Building No. 7 to accommodate Chief Process Engineer Department, Chief Designer Department, Chief Power Engineer Department, Chief Metallurgist Department was built.
The Branch was awarded the Professional Excellence title.
The Factory was awarded the Order of Lenin.
For high achievements on development of new types of bearings and early execution of plans, and in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the USSR, the Factory was awarded the Jubilee Badge of Honour of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Council of Ministers of the USSR and the All-Union Central Council of Trade-Unions.
A boiler house, wastewater treatment facilities, and a refrigeration Factory were put into operation.
Approved for use: the main building of the Branch, compressor room, electric substation (Ozyornaya); technical re-equipment of the Factory, installation of new advanced floor equipment of foreign and domestic origin was underway.
The Branch produced over 300 million bearings.
In February 1978, Workshop No. 6 of the Branch was awarded the Communist Labour Workshop Honorary Title.
The 1990s posed a challenge for the Factory. Having gone through a series of renaming and organizational adjustments, the Branch became an independent company.
The 2000s manifested a period of rapid development for the Factory, mostly owed to Andrey A. Sursky, the new CEO. Active works on technical re-equipment, development of company infrastructure, and building of the new team were performed. The main task was to make MBF evolve into a company that responds to the requirements of the times.
2006. The factory’s quality management system proved its compliance with GOST R ISO 9001-2001 and was successfully certified.
2008. The factory’s quality management system was certified as per GOST RV 15.002-2003 ‘System for the new products development and launching. Military hardware. Quality management system. General requirements.’
January 20, 2010. Initial implementation of the Project for Optimization of Warehousing Facilities and Internal Logistics. The arrangement of the central material storage premises allowed for reducing the operational costs to store goods and materials and promptly manage interdepartmental logistics flows.
October 12, 2010. The electronic incident records system was put into operation. The intrafactory call-centre was launched.
December 15, 2010. The Project for Transition to e-Workflow was completed successfully. The use of the e-Workflow system boosted the information flow at the Factory by optimizing finalization, approval, and distribution of documents. Upgrades of machines and instrumentation to ensure ‘unearthly’ accuracy of manufactured products were performed.
The anniversary of the factory. The team celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the company. Not only currently employed workers were praised and congratulated, but also veterans of the Factory were honoured with due respect and gratitude.
The Factory signed Agreements for Strategic Partnership with the Samara Engineering College and Samara Technical School of Production Equipment Service Named after the Hero of Russia E. Zolotukhin. The purpose of the Agreement is to cooperate in the training of the future workforce and contribute to dual education system development.
The Director of the Factory is Alexey Mostovoy.
The overall direction for the development of the company anticipated earlier in the strategy of the Factory was supported and further developed in the decisions of the new Head.
Today, MBF continues to work on adding a new product range. It involves not only new types of bearings but also aircraft products. Today, the Factory manufactures high-quality aircraft fuel system parts and looks to expand its product line.
In hindsight, we have 65 years full of hard work, overcoming difficulties (both external and internal), and continuous transformations. The leadership of the company in its original directions and future prospects and goals is maintained as the result of hard work and high team morale. The history of the Factory, with its periods of success and challenges, proves that ‘The world is spinning perfectly’.