Auto Service World
News   March 28, 2003   by Auto Service World

Federal-Mogul to Increase Production at South Carolina Brake Plant

Federal-Mogul Corporation is investing $9 million U.S. to increase production capacity and speed at its automotive brake pad manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Four new automated production lines equipped with state-of-the-art pressing and grinding equipment will be fully operational by the end of June, increasing daily brake pad production by more than 40 percent. The new equipment is expected to reduce production time from raw material to packaged product by almost 95 percent, while ensuring world-class quality levels.
Federal-Mogul’s global manufacturing process team for brake friction materials benchmarked the most effective production processes and determined that short-cycle press cure unit molding machines are the most effective way to produce disc brake pads.
“We determine best practices in friction manufacturing and then determine how to implement those practices in Federal-Mogul’s Friction facilities worldwide,” said Stoney Mason, director, manufacturing engineering, Friction, Federal-Mogul. Reducing the pressing time for disc pads lowers cost and produces higher- quality results. The new equipment allows each part to receive individual temperature and pressure control during the pad pressing process, where in the past, one temperature reached across multiple batched parts.
“This temperature and pressure control improves density control of each pad individually, allowing for a more consistent end product for our customers,” Mason said.
“Consistency is crucial in producing high-performance, high-quality brake pads,” said Jeff Hawley, plant manager, Orangeburg. “The new automated equipment will make the process completely hands off, from mix to box.”
Federal-Mogul’s Orangeburg facility manufactures disc brake pads for original equipment passenger car and light truck applications. The facility was established in 1996, and currently employs approximately 200 people. The Orangeburg plant has added 40,000 square feet in the past five years. Federal-Mogul is a world leader in developing and manufacturing friction materials for brake applications in the automotive, heavy-duty truck and rail industries.
The company has consistently invested in new equipment and processes, and in October 2002, opened a state-of-the-art technical center in Plymouth Township, Michigan, devoted to researching, developing and testing advanced automotive brake pads and linings. Federal-Mogul operates 25 friction manufacturing and technical centers worldwide.