Bendix Spicer to invest $8.7M in Kentucky plant

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB) said it is investing $8.7 million in a multi-year expansion and improvement project at its Bowling Green, KY, manufacturing plant.

The Bowling Green facility recently produced 1 million foundation brakes over a 12-month period.

A joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, BSFB manufactures Bendix brand name air disc and drum brakes in Bowling Green.

“For more than a decade, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake has led the industry in developing safer, more effective, and more efficient wheel-end solutions, and those advancements have become reality at our Bowling Green facility,” said Andy Dale, Bowling Green plant manager. “This investment strengthens our commitment to highway safety technology, and has had an immediate impact on our ability to meet the continually increasing demand for Bendix foundation brakes. We raised our production volume by 67% in 2014, and our overall production capacity by 70%.”

BSFB expanded its air disc brake production capacity in 2014 through the addition of two new machining centers and 75 new jobs. Two more machining centers will be added in 2015, along with a new assembly line and an expected 15 new jobs, the company said, to support the increasing demand for air disc brakes. Further expansion investment plans include the addition of another assembly line in 2016.

Since 2009, production levels of the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake manufactured in Bowling Green have increased more than fivefold. In 2014, air disc brake production rose 60% compared to the previous year, and in October, employees produced a plant record of nearly 35,000 air disc brakes.

Improvements to BSFB’s foundation drum brake manufacturing process include new equipment and upgrades to improve component assembly, drilling, tapping, and machining. BSFB also improved its drum brake component painting and welding capacity.

“State-of-the-art production systems are vital as we continue to improve foundation brake technology and deliver high-performance solutions that meet and exceed federal Reduced Stopping Distance standards,” Dale said. “And our advancements in safety technology are playing a significant role in shaping this facility’s future.”

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