ELYRIA, Ohio – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has expanded its remanufacturing capabilities and capacity with a $3.2 million capital investment in equipment and facility upgrades at its Huntington, Indiana, plant. The Bendix Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center now handles the complete salvage, coining, and assembly processes that make up start-to-finish remanufacturing and can produce several million remanufactured commercial vehicle brake shoes annually. Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, began serial production of reman shoes at the facility in the fall of 2012. Combining Bendix’s nearly 40 years’ experience in remanufacturing with Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake’s acknowledged leadership in wheel-end solutions and brake shoe manufacturing, the center has assembled more than 1.9 million brake shoes since its opening in 2012. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB) is a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. “As the commercial vehicle industry continues to adapt to ever-changing regulations and compliance standards, fleets and owner-operators are turning in greater numbers to high-quality remanufactured brake shoes as a solution in their parts strategy,” said Henry Foxx, Bendix director of remanufactured products. “The Bendix Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center grew from our desire to provide reman brake shoes offering the durability, reliability, performance, and extended lining life expected of original equipment. With the completion of the next phase of production expansion, in tandem with our three-tiered portfolio of reman brake shoe offerings, Bendix is better equipped than ever to meet every customer’s need for safety, performance, and value.”
Bendix’s Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center employs 65 people, part of Huntington’s total roster of 430 employees. The center’s 74,000 square feet bring the Huntington operation’s total to 547,000 square feet, comprising four manufacturing and assembly facilities as well as Bendix’s primary North American distribution center. Key to the upgrades to the Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center is the coining process, which returns used brake shoes to the shape engineered by their original equipment (OE) manufacturers. Bendix has always coined 100 percent of its remanufactured brake shoes, and the upgrade increases coining capacity and capability. “A brake shoe undergoes a tremendous amount of force and drastic temperature changes during its life cycle,” said Frank Gilboy, BSFB brake shoe product line manager. “Over time, this results in deformation. It’s twisted, or it’s stretched, and if you just reline that shoe with new friction – like most brake shoe reliners do – you’re going to have issues when it engages with the drum, because it no longer has the correct geometry to provide full contact and stopping power.” The new Bendix 1,000-ton coining press reproduces the original manufacturing methods, applying the full tonnage necessary to return the shoe to its proper shape and OE specifications. All of those specifications are crucial to maintaining brake safety and performance in the era of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) mandate and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. “We understand how critical it is for all the welds to be correct, for the thickness of the steel to be correct, and for all the other factors that go into brake shoe engineering to be considered,” Gilboy said. “Our inspection uses all of our OE design experience and criteria to make sure that the shoes we inspect and put into remanufacturing production are suitable to go back out there for another lifetime in the field.”
Other improvements to the Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center include a self-contained salvage and de-lining area, which prevents dust and other contaminants from reaching the painting and riveting process; four automated de-liners that remove the friction with greater accuracy and reduce the chance of accidental shoe damage; and two new 24-cubic-foot blasters that clean the shoes in order to provide the best adhesion surface for the new lining. Additionally, a new 2,000-square-foot paint line can handle up to 500 parts per hour. When Bendix reman shoes undergo final assembly, the production line uses the same riveting procedure used by OE manufacturers. This ensures correct lining attachment for maximum lining service.
The improvements were also designed to meet Bendix’s rigorous standards for safe and environmentally sustainable workplaces. Employee ergonomic and safety considerations played significant roles in developing the production line, which also incorporates extensive wastewater treatment and waste diversion methods.
The always expanding remanufactured Bendix brake shoe product portfolio is supported with in-house research and development – along with ongoing comprehensive friction testing – conducted at the company’s engineering center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as a state-of-the-art order fulfillment operation to ensure that customers receive fast and easy access to inventory. Bendix remanufactured shoes are fully supported by field-tested sales and service professionals; a 100 percent ASE-certified field technical support team; and the Bendix Tech Team (at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE), an expert technical support group providing service advice, brake system troubleshooting, and product training.
Bendix remanufactured brake shoes are part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of wheel-end technology that delivers on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets’ success. By delivering complete braking solutions and robust post-sales support, Bendix helps improve vehicle performance and efficiency, lowering ownership costs and increasing highway safety. For more information, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit FoundationBrakes.com.
About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 2,700 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Bendix is headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, with manufacturing plants in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Huntington, Indiana; and Acuña, Mexico. For more information, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725), or visit bendix.com.
About Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC combines and expands the complementary wheel-end foundation brake technologies of two global leaders – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. The joint venture, formed in July 2004, is a single, complete source for OEM brake system design, manufacturing, hardware, and support for all foundation brake components and actuation systems, as well as all-makes coverage of nearly 50,000 medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket parts. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC is headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, with engineering operations in both Elyria and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. For more information, call 1-866-610-9709 or visit FoundationBrakes.com.