STOCKHOLM, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Sweden's SKF SKFb.ST, the world's biggest maker of ball bearings, said on Tuesday it would invest around 550 million crowns ($62.1 million) to strengthen its North American operations.
The company said it would take restructuring costs of around 35 million crowns in the third quarter, as it reduces staff by around 120 employees.
It added that around 350 million crowns would be invested in the Sumter plant in South Carolina, while the rest would be used for localizing manufacturing of tapered roller bearings from China to an existing plant in Mexico.
"The resulting improvements in flexibility and service levels enable the Group to consolidate its factories in Avon, Ohio and North Charleston, South Carolina into the Sumter factory," SKF said in a statement.
It added that consolidation and investments would take between 12 and 18 months to implement.
($1 = 8.8549 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Simon Johnson)
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