- The November launch of Accuride’s new Mega-Line at its Erie plant, which set a new industry benchmark for aluminum wheel machining process technology, noted Dauch.
The Mega-Line is one of the highest technology aluminum wheel production lines in North America, according to Dauch. It produces high-gloss aluminum wheels for commercial vehicles through a fully automated operation.
The line includes eight robots processing forged and heat-treated wheels. The processes include turning, pre-stressing, milling, coining and surface finishing.
There is a centralized, closed-loop system for chip and coolant management.
Steel wheel improvements
The OEM and aftermarket leader in steel wheels, Accuride’s Wheels business unit has demonstrated strong service and financial performance, Dauch said.
For 2012, the company will make targeted investments in machining, equipment, facility upgrades and engineering initiatives to further improve product and process quality.
In addition, Accuride’s Lean Manufacturing initiatives are further reducing variation and cycle times.
The second phase of Accuride’s capital investment program, to be announced later this quarter, targets the Gunite wheel-end business unit that produces spoke wheels, hubs, rotors, full cast brake drums and automatic slack adjusters.
These investments will address the production issues and capacity constraints that Gunite experienced during 2011, said Dauch.
Part of the company’s changes, investments to expand capacity, enhance quality
Under the agreement, VIPAR Heavy Duty will offer Accuride Wheels, Gunite wheel-end components and Imperial Group products.