May 31, 2007 — General Motors Corp. has added its Bedford, IN, foundry to the list of metalcasting operations due for capital investments. GM outlined a new, $44-million program for plant renovation and new high-pressure diecasting machinery at the site, including robotic tenders for each machine. The new installation will produce transmission cases and converter housings for GM's line of six-speed transmissions.
In the past two weeks, GM Powertrain has outlined a $61-million investment for a new sand-casting operation at plant in Defiance, OH, and a $63-million project for a new molding line at Saginaw, MI.
GM Powertrain Bedford Foundry is an aluminum operation, producing permanent-mold castings and high-pressure diecastings for transmission cases and converter housings for four-speed and six-speed transmissions; pistons for the Vortec 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V-8 engines; and engine blocks for GM's Northstar 4.6-liter V-8 engines. GM pegs the plant's daily average output at 10,000 transmission cases and converter housings, 34,000 pistons, and 350 engine blocks.
For the new project, GM says equipment orders will be placed and construction will begin immediately. New machinery will begin to be installed next June, and new production will begin in late 2009.
"Today marks an exciting new chapter in this plant's 64-year history of producing high-quality castings and components for GM engines and transmissions," stated John Lancaster, Bedford plant manager.
Last June, GM began a $48-million project at the same plant to modernize its melting operations. Total ongoing investments at Bedford are projected now at $114 million.
"These investments would not be possible without the involvement of employees at this facility, who have dedicated themselves to improving the quality of our products and the efficiency of the operations here at the Bedford Foundry," stated GM Powertrain's Arvin Jones, manufacturing manager for castings and components. "Their efforts have contributed to GM's competitiveness and our transformation in North America."