Accuride Expanding Aluminum Wheel Machining

April 11, 2012
Two new lines for South Carolina forging plant

Forged wheel producer Accuride Corp. is expanding capacity at its Camden, SC, aluminum forging plant, the former Forgitron Technologies LLC operation it bought last June. The news follows the announcement in January of a $75-million, 2012 capital investment program, and a $35-million series of investments in 2011, mostly to improve and expand steel wheel machining capabilities.

The January announcement detailed more plans for new steel wheel machining lines, but noted $20 million was marked to expand production of aluminum wheels too, including plant improvements, installing new machining lines and equipment, and relocating equipment among its plants in Camden, Erie, PA, and Monterrey, Mexico. It said these moves would optimize material flow, standardize machining processes, and improve surface-finish consistency across its product lines. Accuride further indicated the investments will double aluminum wheel production capacity at Camden and Monterrey.

Now, Accuride confirms it will invest at least $8.73 million to add two machining lines at Camden, leading to at least 25 new jobs there. It noted that the local county council is considering a “fee in lieu of taxes” agreement for the project, and the state’s worker-training program is aiding the recruiting and on-boarding of new hires.

"We are pleased to move forward with plans to expand our Kershaw County operations,” stated Accuride Corp. president and CEO Rick Dauch. “Our investment helps to ensure we have the right production capacity in place where and when our customers need it, at a higher standard of quality and dependability."

Accuride bought Forgitron in mid 2011, and “converted” the former rotary forging operation to its own production processes before resuming production of commercial vehicle wheels there later in the year.

The company’s Accuride Wheels subsidiary manufactures forged steel and aluminum wheels for trucks and wheel-end components at eight plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Its Gunite subsidiary produces commercial vehicle wheel-end components, like brake drums, disc brake rotors, spoke wheels, disc wheel hubs, and other products. More capital investment for the Gunite division was signaled in January, too, but Accuride Corp. said it plans to address production issues and capacity restraints, and increase capacity, throughput, and product quality.

Accuride Corp. also includes the Imperial Group, a fabricator, and the Brillon Iron Works, a gray and ductile iron foundry in Brillon, WI.

"Today's announcement is another win for one of our state's rural areas. We celebrate Accuride's decision to invest $8.73 million and create 25 new jobs in Camden. South Carolina continues to provide the business-friendly-climate where companies of all sizes can grow and prosper," stated Gov. Nikki Haley.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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