As part of a $35 million investment, Accuride Corp. announced that it increased aluminum truck wheel production in 2011 through a combination of acquisitions, technology investments, and transfers of aluminum wheel machining lines within its operations.
â€śMany factors, including fuel economy requirements, residual value and aesthetics, are driving the growth in aluminum wheel demand in the North American commercial vehicle industry,â€ť said Rick Dauch, president & CEO. â€śAccuride is investing to ensure that we have the right production capacity in place when and where our customers need it, whether for steel or aluminum wheels. Weâ€™re also raising our standards for product dependability and finish to meet customersâ€™ ever-increasing expectations.â€ť
In June 2011, Accuride acquired substantially all of the assets of Forgitron Technologies LLC, including an 80,000-sq.-ft. aluminum wheel manufacturing facility located in Camden, SC. That facility has been fully integrated with Accurideâ€™s systems and controls and increased manufacturing capacity 21% alone.
In November 2011, Accuride launched its Mega-Line at its plant in Erie, Pa. The Mega-Line employs a fully automated manufacturing process that uses a centralized, closed-loop system for chip and coolant management. The lineâ€™s eight robots take a forged, spun and heat-treated raw wheel through the turning, pre-stress, milling, coining and RĂ¶sler surface finishing processes to produce durable, high-gloss aluminum wheels that are ready for shipment with zero manual intervention.
In response to growing demand in Mexico, Accuride also transferred an existing manual-process aluminum wheel machining line to Accuride de Mexicoâ€™s 226,000-sq.-ft. Monterrey, Mexico, plant during the summer.
As part of its aluminum wheel machining investments, Accuride also installed additional polishing equipment in its Erie and Monterrey facilities.
This new equipment established a higher standard of enhanced finish for Accurideâ€™s aluminum wheel product portfolio and increased efficiency and productivity.
â€śBy strategically managing our existing capacity and investing in key acquisitions and capacity initiatives, Accuride is fortifying its status as a leading aluminum wheel supplier to the North American commercial vehicle industry,â€ť said Scott Hazlett, senior vp & gm. â€śFurther, with our proven steel wheel expertise and extensive product portfolio, weâ€™re able to seamlessly serve as a single-source supplier for our customersâ€™ aluminum and steel wheel needs.â€ť