Friction material manufacturer Fras-le has started heavy-duty brake lining production at its facility in Prattville, AL. This is the first time Fras-le has produced heavy-duty brake linings in the U.S.

The company invested $11 million to expand its lining capabilities, it said. The expansion includes new equipment and the hiring of nearly 100 employees in 2012 and 2013.

Heavy-duty brake lining is also manufactured in Brazil for global distribution and in China for distribution in Europe and Asia. Until now, Fras-le only manufactured disc brake pads at the Prattville facility.

“One year ago we announced our expansion plans and I am proud to say that we met our goal, on time, and that the first order of heavy-duty linings ever produced by Fras-le in North America, shipped on January 2,” said Daniel Randon, president & CEO. “We appreciate all the support we've received from officials in Alabama, our Fras-le teams around the globe, and our strategic partner, Meritor.”

The new friction materials being made in Prattville are supplied to Meritor for aftermarket use on new and remanufactured brake shoes in North America. Meritor’s aftermarket group is the exclusive distributor of Fras-le’s heavy-duty brake linings in North America.