Wabco has expanded its North American production with output of air disc brakes (ADB) for commercial vehicles following the opening of its new factory in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The supplier spent US$20m on the new facility to, it said, “meet increasing customer demand for [our] industry-leading air disc brakes, energy-efficient air compressors and related safety systems”.
Production was moved from an existing Charleston location to a new, 145,000 square foot building, expanding space by about 60%. Employment has increased by 50 new jobs over two years to 230 workers, in line with previous commitments.
“We are excited to expand our manufacturing capabilities in the US to be closer to our customers in the region. Customer intimacy remains a major differentiator for Wabco around the globe as we capitalise on dynamic growth opportunities,” said chairman and chief executive officer Jacques Esculier.
“By localising [ABD] production in the region we demonstrate our commitment to advancing commercial vehicle safety and shaping the future of the transportation industry.”
Wabco single-piston ADBs are made in Charleston for commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators in North America. The range is sold under the brand names Maxxus for heavy-duty trucks and Maxx22T for trailers.
Compared to drum brakes, Wabco claims ADBs reduce stopping distance up to 10% while “almost completely eliminating” brake fade. They also extend service intervals up to twice as long. With 25% fewer parts, ADBs improve reliability while lowering maintenance costs.
“Technicians are known to exchange brake pads on ADBs four times faster than the linings of a drum brake,” the suppplier said.
Wabco also makes air compressors in North Charleston. It has a joint venture with engine maker Cummins which produces single- and twin-cylinder air compressors for heavy-duty trucks, buses and industrial equipment.