In its latest expansion, the Lebanon auto supplier will produce an all-new product in its portfolio of brake components at its Warren County campus that ADVICS has never made in North America before, according to the company.
ADVICS has lined up a series of financial incentives from state and local governments for its latest 260-job, approximately $150.5 million expansion. The expansion is a three- to four-year project and the total investment represents the cost of new construction as well new equipment, said Ron Lipps, executive vice president of ADVICS Ohio.
Plans are to construct a third, 216,000-square-foot production building on the Kingsview Drive campus in Lebanon, where employees will build a new electronic brake system, added Scott Wolfe, director of corporate planning for ADVICS North America. Previously, the company only built the part in Japan, they said.
“The automotive industry is moving more towards an electronic park brake,” Wolfe said. “This is a push button. It started out on luxury cars and it’s moving its way down through the vehicle ranks.”
Today’s vehicles are equipped with a lever type or push pedal on the floor for the emergency brake, Lipps explained. The benefit to the electronic style is that it applies a set amount of pressure on the rear rotor so that it’s consistent, Lipps said.
“The reason the auto industry likes this better is it’s more reliable,” he said. “It’s also something you can engage or disengage with a push button, which is also more convenient for the driver.”
ADVICS, which celebrated 25 years in business in the U.S. in 2014, has grown to be Lebanon’s largest manufacturing employer with currently over 700 workers on site.
“The other part of this business that is exciting is this is new. This is a new segment,” Lipps said. “By adding the electronic parking brake, that’s now a third part of the braking system that will be made at the Lebanon, Ohio, facilities.”
The operations at 1650 Kingsview Drive consist of the company’s North American headquarters, a brake caliper plant and a factory for its vehicle stability control units, a computerized technology that helps prevent drivers from losing control of a car. Counted as customers are automakers Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.
On the heels of the newest expansion, ADVICS already completed this year another building expansion. Last year, the Japanese-owned company embarked on a $100 million, 100-job expansion to add nearly 65,000-square-feet to expand the control division building and to grow the brake caliper plant by about 10,000 feet, as well as invest in new equipment.
It was the company’s single biggest investment into the Lebanon facilities until now. The addition of the electronic parking brake factory and related equipment tops prior expansions.
“It shows the confidence our parent company has in this organization, in Lebanon, and in the people that are employed here in Lebanon,” Lipps said. “We’ve already shown we’re a good corporate citizen. We’ve already shown we take care of our employees and also provide good value to our shareholders in Japan.”