Behr completes 2-year overhaul of local plant

Behr showed off its newly reconfigured North Charleston manufacturing plant at a recent open house for employees and their families.

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 in a written statement last week.

The revamp included an entire redesign of the layout of the 350,000-square-foot plant at 4500 Leeds, near Interstate 536. 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 the 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 manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks.

Its U.S. business is based in Troy, Mich.

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The parent company is global auto components maker Behr GmbH & Co. of Stuttgart.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.