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Dayco continues expansion push, opens plant in Poland

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Dayco ribbon cutting Poland
Cutting the ribbon at the official opening of the Tychy, Poland, plant in March were from left: Richard Newsted, a member of the Dayco board of directors; Piotr Wojaczek, president of the Special Economic Zone in Katowice; Andrzej Dziuba, president of Tychy city; Giulio Prandi, vice president of operations for Rigid Components, Dayco Europe; and James Orchard, CEO of Dayco when the ceremony took place.

TROY, Mich.—Dayco Products L.L.C. has made major strides to expand the production end of its business in the U.S., Mexico, China and India during the last four years.

The global producer of timing belt systems and front engine accessory drive products has followed the same course in Europe during the last year with the addition of a new manufacturing plant in Tychy, Poland.

Its newest factory is producing pulleys and dampers for original equipment manufacturers in Europe, according to Marketing Manager Brian Wheeler.

Dayco's Poland plant “is our latest and a very critical piece of our strategy to continue to be successful, not only in Europe, but globally,” said James C. Orchard, former CEO of Dayco, who stepped down from the firm's top post Sept. 2.

He continues to serve as a special adviser to the board of managers.

Succeeding him as CEO is John T. Bohenick, who previously served as president of SKF Sealing Solutions, a business unit of SKF A.B., and before that in a variety of leadership roles for Gates Corp., including president.

The new plant, which held its official opening ceremony in March, employs about 150, spans roughly 200,000 square feet and employs more than 220, Wheeler said.

'Investment incentives' in city

A look at the inside of Dayco's new plant in Poland.
A look at the inside of Dayco's new plant in Poland.

Dayco selected Tychy as the site for the plant, he said, because of “investment incentives, the talented work force, the ideal location in Europe and the reputation for quality of manufacturing taking place in the Katowice Special Economic Zone,” where the facility is located.

“Today, the Tychy plant is fully set up, producing pulleys and dampers for a number of automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers,” he said. “Multiple manufacturing processes are used at the facility, such as stamping, flow forming, machining, vulcanization, lazed welding and assembly processes.”

Wheeler said the company will add a KTL painting line for e-coating in the near future.

The plant passed an ISO/TS 16949 audit in May, and plant managers expect to implement an ISO14000 requirement in early 2015.

The factory, along with its customer base, will continue to grow over the next two or three years as Dayco adds additional projects for original equipment manufacturers in Europe, according to Wheeler.

“Dayco's current business model with its global footprint and product vertical integration continues to be successful for our valuable OEM customers,” he said.

Serving several industries

An exterior look at Dayco's new plant in Poland.
An exterior look at Dayco's new plant in Poland.

It currently is a leader in the research, design, manufacturing and distribution of a broad range of belts, tensioners, hose, pulleys and hydraulics. The company serves both the OE market and aftermarket.

Troy-based Dayco makes products for the automotive, trucking, construction, agricultural, snowmobile, industrial and other markets.

Dayco also was busy in 2013 on the expansion front.

In mid-year, the company began pouring about $2 million into its 250,000-sq.-ft. automotive components plant in Williston, S.C., to turn the facility into its aftermarket and OEM belt center in North America.

It added two lines of machinery, new technology and additional personnel to produce timing belts at the site. Installation of the lines took a little more than two months to complete.

In October 2013, Dayco acquired bankrupt Metavation L.L.C., a producer of automotive dampers.

The deal included three factories and a research and development center in Michigan.