Industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. said it has upgraded its heavy-duty truck transmission plant in South Bend, Ind.
Eaton said it has added a specialized machine to more efficiently produce transmission shafts that after a testing phase should be fully operational by mid-September.
The $1.9 million cross-wedge-rolling machine replaces a hammering press operation that had been outsourced, according to the company.
“This is a unique process that will significantly improve our manufacturing efficiency,” David Larkins, South Bend plant manager, said in a statement.
In a traditional hammering press, brute force is used to forge a hot piece of steel into the size and shape required by customers.
Eaton said with the cross-wedge-rolling machine, steel is heated to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and rolled – rather than pressed – to form the transmission shafts.