Electro-Motive Diesel, one of the two largest suppliers of locomotives to the freight industry, cut a ribbon this week on a traction motor maintenance and overhaul facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
John S. Hamilton, president and CEO of LaGrange, Ill.-based Electro-Motive, said “this facility represents a significant step for EMD. By performing traction motor remanufacturing for EMD customers throughout the Western Hemisphere – as part of our broader strategy to support our global customers with EMD facilities – it will ensure that their locomotives remain highly reliable.”
The new facility occupies over 110,000 square feet. Operations began there last month, and at full capacity it is expected to employ over 150 people. The building is located in the Tres Naciones Industrial Park, which provides the infrastructure for over forty industries from eleven countries.
While this was the only new support facility EMD discussed this week for its Western Hemisphere customer base, the manufacturer said it also has expanded its parts warehouse operations in China.
The company won a contract in 2005 to supply the China Ministry of Railways with 300 hevy-haul, 6,000-horsepower locomotives designed specifically for that market. “The completion of testing and production in China has seen the fleet growing, with a good number in service now,” EMD said.
The new warehouses are equipped with inventory control systems that allow EMD materials managers in LaGrange to monitor the needs and parts supply and usage.
EMD is one of a number of major equipment suppliers to the North American freight rail industry that have diversified their customer base in recent years, especially as demand fell at home during the recession.
More recently, EMD has begun to test biodiesel in its home market, as the U.S. moves toward tighter controls on greenhouse gas emissions and tries to curb dependence on petroleum diesel. (See “Norfolk Southern Tests Biodiesel " http://www.joc.com/rail-intermodal/norfolk-southern-tests-biodiesel)
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