Two years ago Accuride introduced the Gunite Silver Lightweight Brake Drums cast in gray iron as an alternative to steelshell brake drums

Two years ago Accuride introduced the Gunite Silver Lightweight Brake Drums, cast in gray iron as an alternative to steel-shell brake drums.

Accuride, Daimler Trucks in LTA for Brake Drums

Illinois foundry to produce finish-machined gray iron castings for commercial vehicle aftermarket Made-in-the-USA Drums for tractor drive axles, trailer axles $61-million investment

Accuride Corporation has entered into a multi-year agreement with Daimler Trucks North America to supply cast and finish-machined brake drums. The length and other terms of the agreement, which has taken effect, were not announced. “We are pleased to have been chosen as Daimler’s primary aftermarket wheel-end supplier,” Accuride president and CEO Rick Dauch said, “and appreciate this expression of confidence by Daimler Trucks North America in the quality, dependability and performance of our made-in-the-USA Gunite brake drums.”

Accuride has been a long-time supplier to Daimler Trucks, and its Gunite brand brake drums, hubs, rotors, automatic slack adjusters, and other wheel-end components have been recognized by the OEM for quality and performance. Several Accuride plants have likewise been honored by DTNA for quality service, delivery and lead-time performance.

Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler AG division and the largest heavy-duty truck (Freightliner) manufacturer in North America. It also produces medium-duty trucks (Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses) and specialty commercial vehicles. Its Detroit Diesel division produces heavy-duty diesel engines and chassis components for commercial vehicles.

The Gunite brake drums will be supplied to the Parts and Services group, which supplies aftermarket parts, and service and training for customers.

The agreement calls for Accuride to provide Daimler’s Aftermarket Parts group with a range of standard-duty brake drums for over-the-road tractor drive axle and trailer axle applications, with “OEM first-fit quality and Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) compliance.” 

The brake drums will be produced at the Rockford, IL, foundry where Accuride consolidated its Gunite casting and machining operations in 2012. "The new production equipment and processes we put in place at Gunite in Rockford over the past three years has helped the business restore quality levels and take our lead-time and delivery performance to new heights," a spokesman noted.

Accuride invested an estimated $61 million there between 2011 and 2014, the source said. That included approximately $36 million in new machining lines for brake drums and hubs; approximately $13 million for new foundry air-quality control systems, electrical updates, and a drum grinding line. A further $12 million was invested in other improvements and updates, including an assembly line for commercial vehicle slack adjusters.

“We’ve also implemented lean manufacturing disciplines and standardized quality controls across the facility that are boosting performance and reliability and consistency of production quality,” he said.

“Our investment in advanced machining technology and rigorous quality processes enables us to supply Daimler’s aftermarket customers with OEM first-fit quality brake drums that affordably deliver the durability and stopping power they can count on mile after mile, under North America’s toughest driving conditions,” according to Dauch.

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