Fras-le, one of the largest friction material manufacturers in the world, announced that it began production of heavy-duty brake lining at its friction manufacturing facility in Prattville, Ala. earlier this month. This is the first time Fras-le has produced heavy-duty brake lining in the U.S. The news was announced here at the 2013 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.
The company invested U.S. $11 million to expand its capabilities to supply lining to its customer base for commercial vehicle business in North America. The company's expansion added new equipment to its Prattville facility and allowed it to hire nearly 100 new employees in 2012 and 2013.
The Prattville facility complements Fras-le's global manufacturing. Heavy-duty brake lining is also manufactured in Brazil for global distribution and in China for distribution in Europe and Asia. The addition of brake lining production in the U.S. has increased Fras-le's global capacity significantly. 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, Fras-le CEO and president. "We appreciate all the support we've received from officials in Alabama, our Fras-le teams around the globe, and our strategic partner, Meritor."
Randon cited Gov. Robert Bentley, Mayor Bill Gillespie and the Prattville Industrial Development Board, led by Chairman Richard Williams, for their help in bringing about the facility expansion.
"Fras-le's expansion is a compliment to the workers who are making this company successful in Alabama," Governor Robert Bentley said. "This also reflects the business-friendly climate that we have worked hard to create throughout our state. We are committed to helping companies grow and succeed. And here in Prattville, that means nearly 100 additional people have found good jobs. I appreciate Fras-le's investment in Alabama, and I want to thank everyone who worked together to make this expansion a reality."
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.
An $11 million investment at their Prattville, Ala.-facility will include new equipment and the addition of nearly 100 employees.
Exclusive 5-year commercial supply agreement for brake lining in the U.S. and Canadian commercial vehicle markets.