Local Bendix plant hits milestone

Workers at the Huntington Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC plant recently celebrated the rollout of the 1,000th Autocar cab off the assembly line.
Workers at the Huntington Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC plant recently celebrated the rollout of the 1,000th Autocar cab off the assembly line. Photo provided.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a North American leader in the development and manufacturer of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, recently celebrated a major milestone at its Huntington facility.

In December, the Bendix Huntington Module Center 2 rolled the 1,000th Autocar cab off the assembly line.
Autocar selected Bendix as a provider for complete assembly of the cab for its popular Xpeditor models in October 2008. The Autocar Xpeditor is a low cab forward, Class 8 vehicle with state-of-the-art features ranging from improved cab ergonomics, integrated controls, and body-chassis interface to a new environmentally friendly and economically effective hybrid-drive refuse truck.

"It's been nearly a year since we began the huge undertaking of expanding our Huntington facilities and ramping up our module offering. So, celebrating the 1,000-cab milestone gives us an extraordinary sense of accomplishment and success," says Bill Mossing, vice president and general manager of the Bendix module center of compe-tency.

"We began this project with Autocar knowing it was out of our usual scope of work. But by applying a lean, organized production process, we've shown that Bendix has the abil-ity to deal with complex modules for any type of OE customer. This milestone is also representative of our now stabilized module production processes that are operating at full-volume production. We now have the capability to handle additional module business."

Incorporating feature-based ordering and just-in-time delivery, Bendix begins each Autocar cab assembly process with a basic shell and transforms it into a fully-trimmed, opera-tional cab module. It is the company's most complex modules project to date, incorporating 1,000 components from more than 100 suppliers.

The Bendix Huntington operation consists of four facilities representing more than 45 percent of the overall business for Bendix. Module Center 2 in Huntington was added to help address production needs for the Autocar business and to prepare for future growth for this evolving business group.

"Our workforce in Huntington is outstanding, and we wouldn't have been able to complete 1,000 cabs without their commitment to hard work," says Mike Pogorelc, plant manager of the Bendix Huntington facility.

"They've shown flexibility and patience throughout this entire venture. The milestone gave all of us an opportunity to step back and celebrate everything we have accomplished during the past year.

"Now that we've achieved this milestone, we hope to continue down a path toward growth with Autocar and future customers, while continuing to bring business to the Huntington area."

Pogorelc says that adding different types of production shows potential costumers the broad capabilities of their plant.

Assembly of integrated vehicle modules represents more than 20 percent of the overall Bendix business mix at Huntington. Since the start of module production in Huntington, the overall modules business has experienced consistent year-over-year growth, even through the recent economic downturn. In over eight years of solid advancement, Bendix has invested more than $10 million in capital improvements and expansion for the Huntington modules operations in their facility, manufacturing line and in the computer system.