ELYRIA, Ohio – In March 1980, Bendix’s then-named Heavy Vehicle Systems Group began operations in Huntington, Ind., employing 30 people at its newly built warehouse and distribution center. This year, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC celebrates 35 years as a community and industry leader in Huntington, with 450 workers employed across four growing high-tech facilities.
“Bendix’s growth and success here in Huntington have been built on the strength of our talented and innovative workforce,” said Fred Stevens, interim plant manager for Bendix at Huntington. “The work they do in producing, distributing and supporting our leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies makes a positive impact every day on highways across North America.”
Huntington’s plant manager, Mike Pogorelc, is currently completing a short-term international assignment for Bendix’s parent company, the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group. He is leading the transformation of a manufacturing facility in India as part of the company’s commitment to offer opportunities for strong professional growth and global learning to its leadership.
Bendix’s Huntington operation includes manufacturing and assembly facilities, as well as Bendix’s primary North American distribution center. Together, the four locations cover 547,000 square feet. Plant I is the largest at 311,000 square feet, and primarily handles Bendix’s air compressor remanufacturing operations and electronics assembly. Plant I also is home to Bendix’s primary distribution center. The other three facilities consist of Bendix’s 100,000-square-foot Post-Sales Center, which provides remanufactured part inspection and warranty support work; the Modules Center (62,000 square feet), housing three production lines for commercial vehicle control modules; and the Bendix Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center, which opened in 2012 and was expanded in 2014 to 74,000 square feet. The reman center can produce several million remanufactured commercial vehicle brake shoes annually.
Bendix says work done at the Huntington campus has consistently been recognized by high-profile commercial vehicle manufacturers. Most recently, in 2014, the operation received prestigious quality manufacturing awards from PACCAR – maker of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks – and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), which builds vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built buses nameplates.
“Our employees’ idea generation and the initiative they take to personally address quality improvements are vital,” Stevens said. “Over the years, we have implemented thousands of improvement ideas generated directly by the people who know these systems best, and the results have kept us at the forefront of the industry.”
As one of Huntington County’s top employers, Bendix contributes approximately $19 million per year to the area’s economy through payroll, taxes and payments to local suppliers.
Bendix leadership and employees are also active community supporters. Many members of the Huntington leadership team participate on local boards, and employees donate their time and resources in service to local charities such as Junior Achievement, the Huntington County United Way, and the Huntington Boys & Girls Clubs, which received a $50,000 pledge from Bendix last year.
“Many of us call Huntington home, and the importance of giving back to our communities is a long-held belief in the Bendix culture,” Stevens said.
“From corporate donations to fundraisers and hours of volunteer service, we are committed to improving the places in which we live and work.” Bendix’s Huntington operation plays a key role as Bendix delivers on safety, value, product performance and post-sales support. By helping fleets and drivers lower total cost of vehicle ownership and strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology, the work increases safety for everyone on the road.”