Pacamor Kubar Bearings (PKB), veteran owned and operated, is a global source for high-performance miniature ball bearings for nearly every industry, including the aerospace, defense and medical industries. PKB serves aircraft, aerospace and medical equipment manufacturers, national research laboratories, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others.
Miniature ball bearings, which reduce friction by bearing the load to increase movement, are used in everything from navigation equipment (gyroscopes and accelerometers), flow meters, small motors and gear boxes to robotics for a whole host of manufacturing applications, drills and other power tools, as well as many other medical and defense applications.
“We are one of three companies in America that manufactures miniatures and the only one that makes them exclusively,” says President Edward Osta.
PKB manufactures some of the tiniest, most critical components for high-tech machinery and equipment. The largest bearing made has an outside diameter of 1.125 inch. The smallest is 0.1250 inch. Products include full-complement ball bearings, angular contact bearings and thin-section bearings.
PKB also manufactures bearings that can withstand ultracold temperatures in the air calibration process for many types of gas and liquid cryogenic applications.
“Our bearings are used in extreme environments and in many challenging aerospace and defense applications,” Osta says.
PKB miniatures can be found in the elaborate sunshield designed to protect the sensitive instruments of the international James Webb Space Telescope from sunlight and heat. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb Telescope is expected to launch in 2021. The company’s ball bearings are also in the robotic arm of NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover.
PKB manufactures its miniatures in-house at its 13,000-square-foot factory and cleanroom assembly area in the Rensselaer Technology Park Campus. During a multilayered process, 440C stainless-steel rods are precisely machined into rings, or “races.” The rings and balls are then hand assembled into a final product. All PKB bearings are DFARS-material compliant.
DFARS, which stands for Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, is a set of U.S. Department of Defense procurement rules that requires using metals and other materials from mostly domestic or NATO sources. PKB also holds ISO 9001:2015/AS9100D and FAA TSO-C149 Aircraft Bearing certifications. The company maintains an in-house FAA-certified designated manufacturing inspection representative for expedited shipments to aerospace customers.
PKB, established in 1990, has been at the Rensselaer Technology Park since its inception. The company has more than 30 employees, including Rensselaer alumnus Tyler Kessler, who graduated with his mechanical engineering degree in 2017 and is in his third year as a PKB engineering technologist.
Kessler’s main responsibilities include programming the CNC (computer numerical control) equipment, assisting in the development of specialty products for various clients, production planning, and supervising the staff in the turning and grinding operations.
Kessler, 26, who grew up in locally in Delmar, enjoys his work and the surrounding Troy area. “Troy has made a lot of improvements over the past couple of years, particularly in the downtown area, and it’s a fun place to be,” he says.
“The Technology Park provides a good balance for the company and our employees. It is centrally located and continues to meet our industrial manufacturing needs,” says CFO Stephen Angrisano. “We have taken advantage of the talent from several universities and colleges throughout the Capital Region.”