Connect with us
Truckers Bookkeeping Service - Funding - We'll be there for you

Equipment

Bendix breaks ground on $65M expansion of wheel-end manufacturing facility

Published

on

Bendix breaks ground on $65m expansion of wheel-end manufacturing facility
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake is expanding on nearly 8.5 acres immediately adjacent to BSFB’s 302,000-square-foot building, a leased space the company is purchasing as part of the investment. The expansion is noted in silver. (Courtesy: BENDIX SPICER FOUNDATION BRAKE)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB) Friday broke ground on a 130,000-square-foot expansion of its wheel-end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The $65 million addition to the BSFB plant will increase air disc brake production capacity to keep pace with accelerating customer demand in North America.

Bendix is expanding on nearly 8.5 acres immediately adjacent to BSFB’s 302,000-square-foot building, a leased space the company is purchasing as part of the investment. Among other improvements in support of Bendix’s North American air disc brake portfolio, the expansion will add a new bracket weld machine center, a third ADB production line, four ADB caliper machining centers, engineering test capability and an onsite medical clinic and wellness center. Space will also be held in reserve to address long-term growth opportunities.

The facility employs over 400, covering three shifts. Completion of the upgraded plant, which will total 432,000 square feet, is expected by the end of 2020.

BSFB is a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products. It produces the full lineup of commercially available Bendix brand foundation drum and air disc brake solutions at the Bowling Green wheel-end facility. At its opening, in 2007, the plant employed 133 people and occupied 187,000 square feet. Since then, Bendix has invested millions of dollars in production capacity and equipment as part of the company’s commitment to continually invest in its manufacturing operations.

“Our team in Bowling Green is exceptional,” said Carlos Hungria, Bendix chief operating officer. “They surpassed the 3 million-unit production milestone for the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake earlier this year. And now, through this latest investment, they will be even better positioned to meet the escalating demand for air disc brakes in North America. The improved space is part of our ongoing drive to optimize Bendix’s production facilities, as we keep our focus squarely on addressing the needs of our customers.”

Bendix’s strategy of ongoing investments, Hungria pointed out, have contributed to production and quality achievements at the Bowling Green operation.

The facility, located at 346 Central Avenue, is also adding six docks, three recycling compactors, 100 spaces in an enlarged parking lot, and a driveway for more efficient truck routing to and from the building.

“Our manufacturing operations have benefited from the teamwork, commitment, and dedication of our employees,” said Wade Watson, Bendix plant manager in Bowling Green. “We are eagerly anticipating the expanded site, supported by enhanced engineering resource capability, which will provide the capacity to help keep up with customer demand for our air disc brake products.”

According to Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability, “The expanded Bowling Green site will incorporate green building guidelines, an energy-efficient infrastructure, and zero waste planning as essential elements in the construction plans. The building will adhere to Bendix’s strict environmental and sustainability requirements and be an even safer and healthier place for our team members.”

Watson cited the support of outside partners in the expansion effort, including the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. Representatives of these organizations, along with local and regional dignitaries, joined executives from Bendix and Munich, Germany-based parent company Knorr-Bremse at the groundbreaking.

“We are grateful for the strong cooperation and support we’ve long received from our partners in south central Kentucky,” Hungria said. “With their help, we’ve been able to continue our expansion of the Bowling Green operation. We look forward to writing the next chapters in the story of this facility.”

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement Best Truck Driving Jobs at Truck Job Seekers - Ad
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Equipment

Peterbilt delivers model 579EV to Werner for electric-powered truck pilot program

Published

on

Auto draft
Peterbilt has partnered with Werner Enterprises for their electric operations. The 579EV utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem. (Courtesy: Peterbilt)

DENTON, Texas ­— Werner Enterprises has selected the Peterbilt Model 579EV for their battery electric-powered truck pilot program.

“Werner Enterprises has long been regarded as an industry pioneer, and Peterbilt is honored to partner with them and have our 579EV lead their electric operations,” said PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager, Jason Skoog. “Peterbilt is leading the charge in electric vehicle development, with three applications for zero-emissions performance.”

The 579EV delivered to Werner utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 352 kWh.  It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 HP, features an estimated range of about 150 miles and a charging time as little as 1-hour when a fast-charging system is utilized.

Funding for the tractor was provided through the California Air Resource Board California Climate Investments (CCI) program, along with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“Werner is committed to finding alternative ways to keep our trucks environmentally-friendly while staying at the front edge of technology,” said Werner Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “Now, we’re excited about putting on some real-world miles with a dedicated customer in southern California over the next year.”

Pricing and option availability for 579EVs will be available on the Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool in the second half of 2020.

Continue Reading

Equipment

FTR, ACT report significant decline in trailer orders for December

Published

on

Ftr, act report significant decline in trailer orders for december
FTR Transportation Intelligence reports that trailer orders for December were the lowest since August at 16,500 units. ACT Research indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 17,200 net orders last month. (Courtesy: Great Dane)

Both FTR Transportation Intelligence and ACT Research report that trailer order saw a decline in December 2019 from both the previous month as well as December of the previous year.

FTR states that preliminary trailer orders for December were the lowest since August at 16,500 units. December trailer orders were -17% month over month and -41% year over year. Trailer orders for 2019 totaled 203,000 units. This decline is likely because fleets are displaying the same caution on trailers as they are showing in their Class 8 order activity.

ACT Research’s preliminary estimates for trailer sales also indicates a significant decline for December 2019 with trailer manufacturers booked 17,200 net orders to their orderboards last month, which is a 13% decline from November volume. Activity was 37% below last December. For the full year, the industry saw a 51% decline versus 2018 volume. That annual volume was the lowest since 2011.

Before accounting for cancellations, ACT found that new orders in December were 17,900 trailers, off 16% month-over-month and 39% below last year. Full-year new orders of just over 244,000 units were down 44% versus 2018. Final volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

“The year closed on a disappointing note, as fleets continue to maintain a very conservative stance toward 2020 capital investment,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Backlog declined in 11 months of 2019, with October being the only exception to that trend. The year-end orderboard sets a very soft foundation for OEMs for the new year, as OEMs seek to better balance their production volumes to their existing orderboards,”.

The large carriers are being careful with their ordering strategy by placing smaller orders with shorter lead times than is typical at the end of a calendar year, according to FTR.  A great deal of uncertainty exists at the start of 2020 due to a weaker manufacturing segment, the drag of tariffs, and a tumultuous political situation.  Buyer nervousness is expected to increase throughout the year due to the upcoming election and conflict in the Middle East.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “Freight is forecast to grow only about 1% this year, putting little pressure on fleets to boost trailer capacity as they did the last few years. However, total freight levels remain elevated and trailer production for 2020, although down significantly from 2019’s record year, is forecast to be good from a historical perspective. Fleets are expected to continue to replace old trailers based on their standard trade-in cycles. Van trailers sales, spurred by strong consumer spending, are still doing better than the vocational segments.”

Trailer orders should stay in the 20,000 unit a month range for a while, as fleets continue to carefully match orders with short-term demand. Eventually, the manufacturing sector should recover, generating more orders for flatbed and dump trailers.”

Continue Reading

Equipment

Optronics acquires USA Harness, becomes full-line lighting and harness supplier

Published

on

Optronics acquires usa harness, becomes full-line lighting and harness supplier
Optronics has acquired USA Harness to become one of few manufacturers and suppliers of comprehensive power delivery and lighting solutions for commercial vehicles. (courtesy Optronics International)

TULSA, Okla. — Optronics International, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty LED vehicle lighting, announced it has completed its acquisition of Texas-based USA Harness, Inc. A supplier of trailer harnesses and electronic control systems, USA Harness serves the transportation industry with connection systems including the USA-PLUS Sealed Modular Wiring Harness and the patented USA-PLUS Modular Connection System. The USA-PLUS Modular Connection System has been tested and performed at three times the industry standard.

With the acquisition, Optronics is one of few manufacturers serving the light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle industry with both lighting and harness technologies.

“In less than a decade, Optronics has dramatically changed the competitive landscape in commercial vehicle lighting with its focus on technological innovation, broader options and greater value, and we’re about to do the same with harnesses,” Brett Johnson, president and CEO of Optronics International, said.

Optronics is a harness manufacturer on three continents. Coupled with this international experience, USA Harness will position Optronics to hit the ground running in North America.

“We have watched Optronics’ exponential growth over the years and have engineered more and more harness systems for use exclusively with their lighting,” said Debby Thompson, interim president of USA Harness. “Though we’ll continue to produce harness systems that interface with all major lighting manufacturers, we’re excited to now be able to offer a fully integrated modular power delivery and lighting solution.”

Optronics is committed to global manufacturing, and according to company officials, the acquisition of USA Harness increases the company’s supply-chain capabilities. “Just like the OEMs we serve, we’re going to manufacture harness and lighting systems wherever it makes the most sense,” Johnson said.

With their blended experience, Optronics and USA Harness will focus on selling integrated modular lighting and harness systems on a global basis. Targeted manufacturers include those making heavy-duty dry van, reefer, tank, car haul and flatbed trailers, as well as those making light- to medium-duty trailers. Heavy-duty truck and body manufacturers will also be a focus, as will heavy-duty off-highway vehicles, armored couriers and other specialized vocational equipment manufacturers.

Continue Reading

Trending