Elyria, Ohio – Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB), a joint venture between commercial truck safety equipment company Bendix and truck equipment supplier Dana (via its Spicer brand) broke ground on a 130,000ft2 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 302,000ft2, 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 (ADB) 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 on-site medical clinic and wellness center. Space will also be held in reserve to address long-term growth opportunities.
The facility employs more than 400 team members covering three shifts. Completion of the upgraded plant is expected by the end of 2020.
At its opening, in 2007, the plant employed 133 people and occupied 187,000ft2. Since then, Bendix has invested millions of dollars in production capacity and equipment – part of the company’s commitment to continually invest in its manufacturing operations.
“Our team in Bowling Green is exceptional. 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,” said Bendix COO Carlos Hungria. “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.”
“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.”