Bendix starts production of driver control modules at Coahuila facility
After a US$ 4.6 million investment and an intense planning effort that began in 2014, Ohio-based autoparts manufacturer Bendix began to produce driver control modules (DCM) on an advanced new assembly line at its Acuña, Mexico, facility.
The modules are built for Navistar, Inc., and will be used in medium-duty, Class 8, and military vehicles. Bendix expects to produce up to 60,000 DCMs annually, according to a press release (PDF).
The driver control module is an assembly of vehicle control systems –the most safety-critical components of the vehicle– including the steering column, brake, clutch, accelerator, valves, and air tube and electrical harnesses.
At the Acuña facility, Bendix invested in sophisticated production line technology, trained operators extensively for the high-tech assembly process, and added stringent new quality measures. When the first DCM came off the line, it inaugurated an operation designed for custom ordering and just-in-time delivery –in alignment with Navistar’s manufacturing process.
The company’s Acuña campus, which opened in 1988, is near a Navistar manufacturing plant, where the majority of the DCMs will be shipped. The relocation and updating are consistent with Bendix’s commitment to optimize its manufacturing locations, better serve its customers, and continually reinvest in its business.
The centerpiece of Bendix’s US$ 4.6 million investment is the company’s first-ever production line utilizing automated guided vehicles (AGV), which transport components from the kitting area and from station to station. AGVs allow for flexibility in the line by simple changes in the magnetic tape that guides the vehicles on the floor.