Bendix to build new factory in Mexico
By Chad Elmore28 October 2022
Highly automated plant to make next-generation components
Ohio-based Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has begun construction on a new production facility at its operation in Acuña, Mexico. The plant will use highly automated manufacturing processes to produce two emerging, next-generation technologies: Global Scalable Brake Control (GSBC) and Global Scalable Air Treatment (GSAT).
The facility, which joins three other plants and a logistics center on the Acuña campus, is the latest step in the ongoing expansion of the operation. Initial occupancy is slated for November 2023. The campus, opened in 1987, engages in manufacturing, remanufacturing, and assembly across a wide range of products – antilock braking systems (ABS), air dryers, compressors, valves, actuators, and integrated vehicle modules.
“Over more than 30 years, Bendix Acuña has compiled a remarkable record of achievements, including growth initiatives and expansion of its high-tech production capabilities with outstanding safety and quality records,” said Nestor Piuma, Bendix vice president, operations. “In addition, the development of the management and leadership team strength makes Acuña a prime location to elevate those capabilities even more by using advanced automation in the manufacture of GSBC and GSAT.”
GSBC and GSAT are new brake control and air treatment modular global systems that are designed to be adapted to customer needs in various markets. The high integration of base and advanced technologies enables more flexible installation options, said Bendix, making adaptability to different vehicle platform requirements and needs easier. In addition, GSBC and GSAT advanced capabilities and diagnostics enable the groundwork for automated driving.
“In manufacturing GSBC and GSAT products, we will take advantage of the stability, knowledge, skill sets, and strong quality and safety records we have cultivated here,” said Jacqueline Perez, Bendix senior director of operations in Mexico. “Additionally, Acuña builds all Bendix valves and air dryers currently, positioning us well to manufacture GSBC and GSAT – the next generation of those products. The new facility, using robotics and employing operators with advanced technical skills, will have both the space and capability to make that happen.”
Bendix’s new, 185,000-sq.ft. plant will add to the Acuña operation’s existing 412,000 sq.ft. The company said it will hire an estimated 200 employees for the plant, bringing the Acuña workforce to approximately 2000 people. The new lines will begin production on a staggered, multiyear schedule commencing in 2023.
Acuña is reportedly one of the fastest-growing Bendix manufacturing sites. Executives of Knorr-Bremse, Bendix’s Munich, Germany-based parent company, consider it a model manufacturing facility. Knorr-Bremse honored the Acuña operation as its top-ranked plant worldwide in 2011.
“GSBC and GSAT represent a natural progression in the growth of Bendix’s brake control and air treatment technologies,” Perez said. “The new facility is another step not only in the advancement of Acuña’s high-tech production capabilities, but in Acuña’s support of these two Bendix product lines, as well.”