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Federal-Mogul Starts New Foundry in Mexico

Oct. 16, 2014
New plant casting piston rings for automakers in North and South America Cast iron and steel New molding process Extending manufacturing footprint
Federal-Mogul’s DuroGlide pistons for gas and diesel engines are treated with a high-hardness, carbon-based coating to improve lubricity.

Federal-Mogul Powertrain has started up a new ferrous foundry in Puebla, Mexico, producing cast iron and steel automotive piston rings for North and South American manufacturers. In addition to metal casting, the new operation includes surface treatment and finish machining processes.

No production volumes have been announced for the new plant, but Federal-Mogul said the $15-million project likely would add more than the initial 120 employees as capacity expands in the coming years.

Federal-Mogul Powertrain is one of two operating units of Federal-Mogul Holdings, which last month announced plans to split into two separately traded entities, the other one to be called Federal-Mogul Motorparts.

Federal-Mogul Powertrain designs and manufactures powertrain components it supplies to original equipment manufacturers, including pistons, piston rings, cylinder liners, valve seats, valve guides, bearings, spark plugs, and more. Among more than 70 plants worldwide, the new Puebla plant is its seventh in Mexico.

"We are very pleased to open this new facility in Puebla. It is part of our global strategy to expand our manufacturing footprint, particularly for piston ring production," stated Michael Hedderich, senior vice president and general manager, Rings and Liners.

The group produces piston rings for gas and diesel engines, across multiple product categories (automotive, commercial vehicle, off-road, industrial engines, etc.) The product line includes compression rings, scraper rings, and oil-control rings, cast in stainless and spring steels and various grades of gray and ductile iron, some of which are heat treated.

Late last year Federal-Mogul introduced a proprietary molding process for steel piston rings at a foundry in Burscheid, Germany, making products that are more wear-resistant than cast iron. A spokesman explained at that time that the new process would be extended to other foundries in the organization.

Those processes apparently have been incorporated at the new plant, too. "Our investment in advanced manufacturing processes for piston rings has enabled us to provide state-of-the-art solutions at the new Puebla facility that fit the needs of our customers," stated plant manager Lars Gutberlett.

"The extension of the manufacturing footprint in Mexico strengthens Federal-Mogul Powertrain's leading position in piston ring technology through its use of unique coating technologies to ensure optimal product performance,” Gutberlett continued. “Best-in-class coating technologies like PVD and DuroGlide® support the automotive industry's challenges to meet legislative targets for reduced CO2 and improved fuel economy."

"This new facility demonstrates our commitment to providing more efficient production of piston rings to customers in this region of the world," Hedderich added.