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Tenneco develops into Factory of the Future

2013 saw the launch of a major restructuring at Tenneco, with products relocated across its European plants. Needing to streamline its costs urgently, the shock absorber plant in Sint-Truiden joined Sirris and Agoria’s Made Different programme, which seeks to transform manufacturing businesses into Factories of the Future. Fast forward to 2016 and Tenneco Sint-Truiden is getting back to its full operational potential.
  • More cost efficiency needed to keep production in Belgium
  • Targeted innovations within Made Different technology roadmap
  • Restored to leading position in international group

 

Tenneco Sint-Truiden manufactures shock absorbers for the automotive industry and is part of Tenneco Inc.,  a globally active US group producing shock absorbers and exhausts. 

“As well as investments in production technology and production line automation, there has been a major focus on integrating measurement technology within the different production phases.” 

Threat of relocation

Back in 2013, shock absorber manufacturer Tenneco in Sint-Truiden was struggling to produce some product ranges cost-effectively. The plant was worried that existing and new projects were going to other group sites.
The manufacturer urgently needed to boost its efficiency and use of new technologies, so it joined Sirris and Agoria’s ‘Made Different’ programme, which helps manufacturing businesses to develop into Factories of the Future.

Gradual innovation

Performing the Made Different ‘Transformation Scan’, the experts first conducted a thorough review of the existing situation, challenges and priorities. A technology roadmap was then drawn up, setting out practical proposals and guidelines. IWT, the Flemish government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology, gave the plant innovation support to put the roadmap innovations into practice.

Today, some 10 innovations have already been implemented. As well as investments in production technology and production line automation, there has been a major focus on integrating measurement technology within the different production phases, so that processes can be continuously adjusted based on specific measurement results.

Top of the class again

Thanks to the innovations rolled out by Tenneco Sint-Truiden over the past two years, the business is once again playing a leading role in its international group. Tenneco Belgium has now won back the contract to manufacture high-tech shock absorbers, which will be marketed from 2016.