Bendix makes operational changes

A realignment of plant capacity is underway at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems as it intends to close its Frankfort, KY facility in the fourth quarter and move drum brake production away from its Glasgow, KY plant

A realignment of plant capacity is underway at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems as it intends to close its Frankfort, KY facility in the fourth quarter and move drum brake production away from its Glasgow, KY plant.

Bendix plans to shift production of its compressors used in commercial vehicle braking systems from Frankfort to an existing Bendix facility in Acuña, Mexico, that currently manufactures other components used within a vehicle’s air charging system.

Steve Mance, Bendix’s vp & gm of charging systems, said the moves will improve structural cost and align its manufacturing facilities for specific business unit focus. The Frankfort plant is also one of Bendix’s oldest– it opened in 1968– and employs 124 people.

Mance said there were two reasons Bendix is closing the plant. “First is the globalization of our compressors business, which places greater pressure to reduce costs to a level that can allow us to compete effectively in the worldwide marketplace. Second is the strategic … plan to align our factories with business product lines for enhanced efficiencies and productivity.”

For those exact same reasons, Bendix and its partner Dana Corp. say they are gearing up to build a new foundation brake production facility slated for fourth quarter 2007 under the auspices of their joint venture, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC. While a new location for this plant hasn’t been named, the companies expect it to employ 175 people.

“This new plant will provide us a business unit-focused manufacturing operation for our highest-volume and greatest growth-potential products,” said Kishor Pendse, president, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “The move is a natural next step in our global manufacturing facilities strategy. We anticipate synergy and efficiency to result.”

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