Cruzeiro, BRAZIL, November 30, 2020 – Iochpe-Maxion’s Manufacturing and Engineering Center in Cruzeiro, Brazil, is home to both its divisions, Maxion Structural Components (MSC) and Maxion Wheels (MX). Built in 1943, the campus spans more than 121,000 square meters producing market leading steel vehicle chassis and structural components, and commercial and specialty vehicle steel wheels. Today, the facility celebrated its recent transformation with an event to recognize the Company’s investment and the teams’ vast efforts to improve their operational effectiveness with significant improvements made to infrastructure, manufacturing and sustainability processes, and workplace amenities.
The Cruzeiro transformation began over a year ago with a wheel equipment transfer from Guarulhos to Cruzeiro. The transfer presented the MX and MSC operations teams in Cruzeiro with the opportunity to reorganize and streamline some of their manufacturing workflows freeing up space to make improvements in both productivity and employee morale. While the amount of transformational change was significant, the most notable improvements were:
- The installation of a new, fully-automated E-Coat and Top-Coat wheel paint line integrated into a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) management system for consistent monitoring of quality process parameters and efficiencies, and the installation of three new powder coat paint lines for MSC.
- The addition of several new pieces of equipment (500-ton tandem press line, new laser cutting machine, new bending machine, and the internalization of the slitter cutting process) to lower inventory levels and increase plant capacity.
- The expansion of the water supply and treatment system by 80m³ to serve the newly upgraded operations and efficiently supply the factory's potable water network.
- The installation of new motor pumps to add approximately five times more capacity for the fire system, and prepare the factory for possible future expansions.
- The improvements in both energy efficiency and sustainability with a new electrical substation to efficiently increase the power supply by 30 percent, the installation of new energy-efficient LED lighting to brighten work stations, and the relocation and installation of a new central air supply.
Lastly, with product innovation, manufacturing quality and customer service as critical drivers, the following digitalization projects were implemented to automate and enhance key processes:
- The installation of DataMatrix QR Code, an automated product traceability system.
- The installation of SAP, Iochpe-Maxion’s chosen global enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, driving further efficiencies through process standardization and global operational synergies.
“Over the last few years, Maxion Structural Components made several infrastructure and manufacturing process changes and investments in the Cruzeiro plant to improve our capabilities and capacity,” said Luciano Pinho Nilo Jr., Plant Director, Maxion Structural Components, Cruzeiro. “These same improvements are also enabling us to address some new customer needs with the construction of a new stamping operation that will produce structural parts and stamped skin parts for commercial vehicles. These will be new products for our portfolio, enhancing value for both customers and stakeholders.”
“The investment in the Cruzeiro operations, including the installation of new rolling, disc, assembly and paint line automation, reflects the Company’s commitment to product quality optimization in our ongoing efforts to meet the ever changing needs of its customers,” said Don Polk, President of Maxion Wheels’ Americas business unit. “Specifically, for our agriculture wheels, with diameters up to 46 inches, the new paint technology enables our specialty wheels to meet both domestic and export quality specifications. I’m very proud of the team and the extensive work they undertook to ensure our infrastructure and manufacturing process improvements also position us well to meet future challenges in digitalization and sustainability.”
Iochpe-Maxion is a world leader in the production of automotive wheels and a leading producer of automotive structural components in the Americas. The Company has 33 manufacturing plants located in 14 countries and approximately 15,000 employees, operating its business through two divisions: Maxion Wheels and Maxion Structural Components.