ASC Industries announced plans to increase its assembly capacity for new water pump production in the first quarter of 2010 with the addition of an automated assembly cell. The newest cell will be the fifth automated cell at the North Canton, Ohio facility that manufactures new water pumps for ASC’s automotive OE and aftermarket customers. It will replace most of ASC’s existing semi-automated process lines, significantly improving quality and consistency by adding an additional 24 automated steps in the assembly process that integrate inspection and testing. It will incorporate new technologies such as electromechanical presses, laser marking, pick-and-place robots and various error-proofing devises. “The addition of ASC’s fifth fully-automated assembly cell in North Canton further enhances our aftermarket capabilities,” stated ASC president and CEO Tom Blackerby. “Upon completion, more than three quarters of our aftermarket product will be built on the same equipment with the same tolerances we use for our Original Equipment customers, with all built truly ‘just-in-time’. It is exciting to be able to accomplish this by building it competitively right here, in North Canton, Ohio.” Blackerby noted that the cell is being designed and built in the USA by a US-owned company. A sixth automated cell should also be in place at the North Canton facility by the end of 2010. ASC is planning similar technology expansions to supply the European aftermarket customers at its Zaragoza, Spain facility.