jmcdermott@postandcourier.com

Automotive parts maker Behr Heat Transfer Systems has completed a two-year overhaul of its North Charleston plant, resulting in higher efficiencies.

Productivity has increased by nearly 20 percent and product scrap rates have dropped by half, said Tom Daffron, manager of the Leeds Avenue facility.

“We’ve seen significant improvements in efficiency which undoubtedly will translate into higher levels of customer satisfaction,” Daffron said today in a written statement.

The revamp included an entire redesign of the layout of the 350,000-square-foot plant at 4500 Leeds, near Interstate 526. Behr said the project required the relocation of almost all equipment.

“With plans to install a new, high-capacity furnace in 2011, Behr saw an opportunity to redesign the entire facility to meet the need for future improvements in material flow and overall efficiency,” the company said in a statement.

German-owned Behr began production in North Charleston in 1993 and has about 390 local employees.

The factory makes radiator and other automotive cooling devices, primarily for makers of heavy-duty trucks. Its U.S. business is based in Troy, Mich.