Capital investments, lean culture enabled plant to achieve world-class operational performance
Accuride Corporation – a supplier of components to the North American and European commercial vehicle industries – today announced that IndustryWeek magazine has selected its Rockford Operations wheel end manufacturing facility in Rockford, Ill., as a winner of the 2017 IndustryWeek Best Plants competition. Now in its 28th year, the annual program recognizes North American plants that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness and customer satisfaction. Accuride’s Rockford facility earned the award following a rigorous assessment process and will be recognized during ceremonies at the 2018 IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, May 8-10, in Raleigh, N.C.
Rockford Operations – part of the Accuride Wheel End Solutions business unit – manufactures and assembles Gunite® and KIC®-brand brake drums, hubs, rotors, slack adjusters and other wheel end components for the North American commercial vehicle industry. The longest continuously-operating manufacturing plant in Rockford, the facility’s origins go back to the 1850s. The principal drivers of the plant’s manufacturing resurgence include:
- Building a culture of continuous improvement through the engagement of the associates and support of the leaders of Accuride and UAW Local 718, which represents hourly workers at the plant.
- Investing over $70 million in capital for upgrades to machining, foundry, assembly and facilities and grounds.
- Adopting common Lean manufacturing and Quality management processes that enabled the plant’s achievement of consistent world-class operating metrics for quality, on-time delivery, warranty and lead-times.
- Implementing the Plex ERP system that supports data-driven operation and rapid decision-making.
“Rockford was a classic story of a rust-belt factory that had been starved for capital and left for dead by previous owners,” Accuride’s President and CEO Rick Dauch said. “Together with our UAW-represented workforce, we decided to restore the business to competitiveness and profitability. It was hard work, requiring all stakeholders – suppliers, local government, management, union leadership and the workforce – to work together to save a business. The plant’s ‘phoenix’-like turnaround demonstrates that American manufacturers can be competitive and profitable while paying a good wage. In my 25 years as a manufacturing and business leader, I have never been prouder of a team.”
About The IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards Competition
Established in 1990, the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards program annually recognizes plants, located in North America, that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction and create stimulating and rewarding work environments. Its further goal is to encourage other manufacturing managers and work teams to emulate the honorees by adopting world-class practices, technologies, and improvement strategies. For additional information, visit www.industryweek.com.
IndustryWeek lives and breathes transformational manufacturing. Decision-makers and disruptors turn to IW for the news, trends, strategies and best practices that help companies leverage talent and technology to achieve revolutionary leadership practices, business models, production systems, and products. Visit www.industryweek.com and www.mfgtechshow.com for more information.
About Accuride Corporation
With headquarters in Evansville, Ind., USA, Accuride Corporation is a supplier of components to the North American and European commercial vehicle industries. The company’s products include commercial vehicle wheels and wheel-end components and assemblies. The company’s products are marketed under its brand names, which include Accuride®, Accuride Wheel End Solutions™, Gunite®, KIC® and Gianetti Ruote™. Accuride is a portfolio company of Crestview Partners. For more information: www.AccurideCorp.com.