Schafer Gear Announces Joint Venture with Somaschini

Schafer Gear Works, Inc., with headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, and Somaschini S.p.A. of Italy announce a joint venture to produce gears for engines for the heavy-duty truck market in North America. A new manufacturing facility will be located in South Bend under the name of South Bend Gear LLC. The plant will utilize the process technology developed by Somaschini S.p.A. in Italy with Schafer Gear managing the operations. As part of the joint venture, a new 50,000-square-foot plant is being built on the Schafer Gear campus. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2011 at 50 percent capacity and will reach 100 percent production capacity by the end of 2012. The new plan will employ 12 people in phase one and an additional 13 people, for a total of 25 people when fully operational. The total joint venture investment is $18 million, including the new manufacturing facility.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity this joint venture brings to Schafer and to South Bend,” says Bipin Doshi, president of Schafer Gear. “Somaschini’s long history of quality gear production and its proven technology complements our world-wide reputation for precision cut gears and precisely machined components.”

Somaschini has been supplying gears for the heavy-duty truck market to a number of customers including the Daimler Group since 1992. In 2008 the Italian manufacturer began supplying engine gears to Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC), a leading manufacturer of on-highway diesel engines for the commercial truck market. DDC is part of the Daimler group that also owns Freightliner and Western Star truck companies. DDC has developed a series of highly energy-efficient engines that also meet the latest environmental regulations.  South Bend Gear will produce gears for Detroit Diesel’s DD13, DD15, and DD16 series engines. Somaschini will continue to meet the increased demands for the European and the Japanese markets.

Somaschini S.p.A. was established in 1922 in Trescore Belneario (Bergamo) Italy, east of Milan. They are a diversified supplier of gears to a variety of markets in Europe including automotive, passenger and heavy-duty trucks, motorbikes, marine, textile machines, machine tools, robotics, railway, and renewable energy. In 2007 Somaschini established Automotive S.r.l. in a separate modern new facility in Entratico to bring all high-volume automotive production into a dedicated plant.

Established in 1934, Schafer Gear Works has been under its present ownership since 1988. The gear manufacturer is a diversified supplier to a variety of markets in North America including leisure vehicles, material handling, mining, power transmission, construction, locomotive, aircraft, and medical, as well as automotive and heavy-duty truck markets. Learn more at [www.schafergear.com] or [www.somaschini.com].