Bendix To Increase Capacity And Efficiency At Its Huntington, IN, Manufacturing Operation

“Since opening in 1980, the Huntington, IN, complex of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) has achieved milestone after milestone in growth and performance,” according to a press release. “Now it’s about to realize another high point. Over the next year and a half, the Bendix Distribution Center — the company’s primary North American distribution point — will upgrade into a state-of-the-art operation using automation technology, while the engine vibration damper business will consolidate production into a larger space on the campus.

“The changes are the result of a multimillion-dollar capital investment by Bendix. A member of Knorr-Bremse, Bendix is a North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles.”

Initially established as a 30-worker manufacturing and distribution center, the Huntington location now employs over 500 people across multiple plants. In 2019, the company acquired a new location for expansion and realignment of its operations, bringing the complex to 855,000 square feet across four buildings. In addition to engine vibration dampers, manufacturing operations at the site now include air compressor remanufacturing, electronics assembly, and manufacturing of integrated modules.

“Our more than 40-year history at Huntington has been marked by continual growth and expansion,” Eric Meehan, interim managing director – Operations in Huntington, said. “These exciting new changes are part of Bendix’s larger strategic plan for increasing efficiency, expanding capacity, and enabling future growth. They are one more way we continue to optimize our manufacturing operations and distribution, while meeting customer needs at the highest level possible.”

In upgrading the Bendix Distribution Center to a state-of-the-art operation, Bendix will implement automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) technology, a warehouse control system (WCS), and automated conveyance to create a goods-to-person, or GTP, system.

GTP is the process of using automation to retrieve products and deliver them to pick/pack stations where they can be processed for shipment or used in production. The process differs from sending employees to retrieve materials and bring them back to the stations.

“This leading technology will improve safety, ergonomics, quality, and efficiency, and will increase material flow,” the release added.

“Going to GTP will provide Bendix an advantage from a distribution technology standpoint, increasing productivity for the business and improving our delivery capacity to customers,” Randy Seaman, director, Bendix North American distribution, said. “Moving toward GTP is an industry trend. We will automate and streamline the entire process of material picking and preparing shipments to the customer.”

According to Seaman, Bendix will include a human-machine interface system in which employees will be able to meet specific customer requirements in packaging and shipping. In addition, reconfiguring the distribution center’s current location will create about 90,000 square feet of free space, which will be held in reserve to address long-term expansion opportunities. Implementation of the new system is planned for mid-2025. Visit bendix.com.

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