Brembo says it has conducted the first pour at its new cast iron foundry recently completed in Homer, Michigan.
The first pour is a preliminary test of the facility, which ensures all systems are functioning properly and is the first step before production ramp up starts.
During the test, the foundry’s furnaces were charged and molten raw material from them was poured into a mould for the first time.
The Homer cast iron foundry is the fourth in the supplier’s worldwide foundry network and the first Brembo cast iron facility in North America, as well as being the third manufacturing site the supplier has expanded or built at the Homer operation.
“The start-up of our new foundry in Homer is further proof of Brembo’s commitment to Michigan and is a key component of Brembo’s continued global expansion,” said Brembo deputy executive chairman, Matteo Tiraboschi.
“The growth of our Homer operation exemplifies our commitment to the North American market, the top geographic market for Brembo worldwide.”
For his part, Brembo North America president and CEO, Dan Sandberg, added: “Having our own dedicated foundry in the US allows us to have maximum control over our process and costs.
“Our customers benefit by having a dedicated, fully integrated manufacturing process for their brake components.
Construction on the 266,000 square foot foundry began in 2015. Brembo will begin production ramp up in May and the foundry is expected to be fully operational in 2017.
The foundry is adjacent to Brembo’s 440,000 square foot facility, which machines discs and drums for the original equipment market. Brembo also operates a caliper and corner module assembly facility at the same location.
Since purchasing the Homer disc plant in 2007, as part of the acquisition of Hayes Lemmerz’s brake business, Brembo has continuously expanded its footprint in Michigan.
Construction of Brembo’s North American headquarters and Research and Development Centre, in Plymouth, Michigan, took place in 2009.
The following year, the Homer caliper assembly building was built, while since 2009, the Homer disc plant has been expanded three times.
Brembo invested US$100m in the Homer cast iron foundry. At full capacity, it will produce an annual output of 80,000 tons of brake disc castings.
The foundry operations will cover an area of around 300,000 square feet and will create 250 jobs at the foundry and at Brembo’s North American Headquarters in Plymouth.