Canadian Forger Shuts Down Suddenly

Was supplier of connecting rods to automotive industry.

In mid-December, Mahle Engine Components Canada, ULC, in Gananoque, ON, shut down without warning, throwing 90 persons out of work. According to local press reports, workers showing up for work on a Saturday morning found the plant locked. The operation was also known as Gananoque Steel Forging. It traced its corporate heritage back to 1865.

According to the website for Mahle Brockhaus GmbH (go to www.brockhaus-soehne.com ), the Ontario operation produced 6,200 tonnes of forged parts for the automotive and truck industries in 2004, when annual sales were about 13 million. Production included connecting rods, linkages, and forks, with a weight range of 0.5 to 8.0 kg, made on hydraulic hammer forges (15 to 63 kJ) and presses (13 to 20 MN).

The operation specialized in forging “cracked” connecting rods. It was certified to ISO 9001, QS 9000.

In recent years, the plant was owned by Brockhaus Soehne, a leading supplier of steel forged connecting rods. Brockhaus has its main plant in Plettenberg, Germany, with production also in Spain and a minority interest in a Brazilian operation.

Stuttgart-based Mahle Group acquired 25.1 percent of the shares in Brockhaus in 2001, and increased its participation to 51 percent in 2004.

The Mahle Group is the worldwide leading manufacturer of pistons, engine components, and filter systems. It employs more than 30,000 employees in 60 manufacturing locations.

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