Bendix Investing $6 Million to Expand Foundation Brake Facility

Bendix says it will invest almost $6 million in its Bowling Green, KY, facility in an effort to increase its North American production capacity.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB) continues to expand its North American manufacturing production capacity in 2012, investing nearly $6 million in the company’s state-of-the-art foundation brake production facility in Bowling Green, KY.

The equipment and capital investment will expand Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake’s capacity for disc and drum brake operations at the site, allowing BSFB to continue growth spurred by the launch of the federal reduced stopping distance mandate in 2011, as well as phase two of the mandate in 2013. BSFB offers a full lineup of Bendix foundation brake solutions – including foundation drum brakes, disc brakes, automatic slack adjusters, and combination spring brakes – and makes them available under the Bendix brand name.

Investment at Bowling Green for 2012 includes $3.8 million to expand capacity and purchase new equipment for air disc brake production. That investment is in addition to the air disc brake capacity expansion last year, in which a new, automated production line was installed and 34,000 sq. ft. of space was added. The 2011 expansion, which tripled the plant’s assembly capacity, helped BSFB reach a production milestone recently – 250,000 Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes manufactured in North America since the company began producing them in 2005.

For the drum brake operation, BSFB is investing an additional $2 million to expand capacity. In all, the company is investing $5.8 million in capacity expansion and new equipment.

“We’re seeing significant growth in both of our foundation brake segments. Our disc brake business is up 120% year over year, while our drum brake business is up 87% over last year,” says Eddie Wilkinson, president of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “But the real story is that we’re backing up those market gains with increased investment at the facility and adding jobs at our Kentucky facility. We’re investing in our products, our employees, and in our customers, who share our commitment for putting the safest, highest performing, most reliable and most cost-effective brake systems on their vehicles.”

The company’s brake systems are part of Bendix’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus four other areas critical to fleets’ success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important than ever today, as fleets operate in the challenging new environment of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), rising fuel costs and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards.

In addition to the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake, products manufactured at the Bowling Green facility include the new, higher performing version of the company’s Extended Service drum brake (ES brakes). Like the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake, the High Performance ES brake is proven to meet the new federal stopping distance mandate.

Phase one of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulation requires a 30% reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) up to 59,600 lbs. and produced after the August 1, 2011, implementation date. Tractors with two axles, as well as severe service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs., must comply with the new mandate by August 1, 2013.