In response to dramatic, prolonged growth at its Acuña, Mexico, manufacturing campus, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has established the Acuña Logistics Center to help improve materials flow, inventory control, and cost savings. Initially opened in mid-2016 with a significant expansion in January 2017, the logistics center is the fourth building on the expanding Acuña campus.
The company’s Acuña operation had previously relied on several satellite warehouses for receiving and distribution. With consolidation into a single center, the campus is better able to manage inventory and monitor incoming and outgoing materials flow. Comprising 109,000 square feet, the center is located 1.5 miles from Bendix’s Acuña Plant 1, and is staffed by 38 employees. That number is expected to grow to meet increased need. The facility serves as a centralized receiving and inspection destination – part of a company-wide quality initiative to improve productivity, efficiency, and cost effectiveness.
“Growth in our Acuña operation over the last few years has been extraordinary. A centralized distribution center is part of our strategic plan for future expansion,” said Jackie Perez, Bendix Acuña plant manager. “The logistics center has had a tremendous impact on our operation’s efficiency. Most importantly, the new centralized process improves our effectiveness in meeting customer needs. Customer relationships are paramount, which is why Bendix approaches logistics as a never-ending improvement process.”
Improving material flow, further streamlining parts distribution between the three manufacturing sites on the Acuña campus, and enhancing inventory management help Bendix meet stringent customer delivery requirements, which are increasingly based on just-in-time shipments. The campus’ continued evolution includes constant monitoring of shipping and receiving methods. Phase two of Acuña Logistics Center development will explore improvements to inventory replenishment. While efficiency advancements are ongoing, the current changes are expected to bring substantial annual savings for the business operations.
The expanding Acuña campus includes an advanced new assembly line to produce driver control modules. Bendix began production in October 2016. The company invested $4.6 million in the line, which utilizes automated guided vehicles (AGV) to transport components from the kitting area and from station to station.
Established in May 1988, the Acuña manufacturing operation is part of the North American presence of Bendix, which operates facilities in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In addition to the new logistics center, the campus currently consists of three state-of-the-art facilities that employ more than 1,400 workers and encompass 412,000 square feet. Acuña is one of the fastest-growing Bendix manufacturing sites, and executives of Bendix’s parent company, the Knorr-Bremse Group, consider it a model manufacturing facility. Knorr-Bremse honored the Acuña operation as its top-ranked plant worldwide in 2011.