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In 2010 Brembo started up a gray iron foundry in Dabrowa Gornicza Poland turning a brake production plant into a vertically integrated manufacturing process Now it is proceeding with a similar strategy for its Michigan brake plant

$100-Million Foundry Planned in Michigan

July 24, 2014
Brembo adding iron casting to vertically integrate its automotive brake manufacturing North America is largest market 80,000 metric tons/year 2017 start-up

Brembo S.p.A. will invest about $100 million to build a new iron foundry near its disc brake plant in Homer, MI, aiming for a vertically integrated manufacturing capability to supply North American automakers. The auto parts manufacturer, headquartered in Italy, specializes in different types of brakes, in particular automotive disc brakes. In North America, it supplies brakes to Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, as well as BMW, Daimler, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.

According to the company’s announcement, North American will become its largest market by the end of 2014.

Company chairman Alberto Bombassei said the new plant would “reinforce the link between Brembo and the United States, one of the most important automotive markets in the world.

“The increasing number of global platforms being built by vehicle manufacturers prompts us to seek the best possible integration between the different stages of the value chain, replicating the integrated production model that we have adopted for some time now in our facilities in Italy, and recently in Poland and China.”

Brembo has been operating in the U.S. since the 1980s, but it acquired the Hayes-Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component division in 2007. It manufactures brake discs, calipers and corner modules for cars and commercial vehicles.

That is the plant that will finish the iron castings produced at the new foundry into disc brakes.  Construction will begin next year and the plant will be operational in 2017.

Process details for the new foundry were not released, though Brembo indicated it has budgeted €74 million (roughly $100 million) for the 30,000-sq.m. operation that will produce 80,000 metric tons/year of disc brake castings.

Adding the foundry will result in 250 new positions there and at Brembo’s North American headquarters and R&D center in Plymouth, MI.

Brembo indicated it will finance the project with cash, with incentives from the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)