Increasing demand for Gates’ drive belt kits at the installer level has driven production at its Legnica, Poland belt kit assembly plant beyond the 20 million units mark.
By surpassing this milestone, Gates has solidified its position as a leading supplier of turnkey solutions to the automotive aftermarket. “Drive belt kit production at our Legnica facility began in 2011, and demand has risen steadily since it opened,” says Enzo Strappazzon, President of the Gates EMEA Region.
“Gates pioneered the preventive maintenance approach for aftermarket drive systems. In doing so, we have made all the parts needed for a drive system replacement available in a single box. Not only does this position provide added value to the end customer, our kits add value to our distributor and installer partners as well,” he added.
In addition to manufacturing automotive drive belts for Original Equipment (OE), aftermarket, and industrial applications, the Legnica plant also assembles belt kits for both Synchronous Belt Drive Systems (SBDS) and Accessory Belt Drive Systems (ABDS).
The plant also assembles the Gates PowerGrip® kits that contain OE quality drive belts and hold all appropriate OE-quality metal parts (including tensioners and idlers) as well as drive-specific fitting instructions for 85 per cent of aftermarket applications.
Mr. Strappazzon attributes the influence of new investment and the employment of more efficient production processes as important roles in the overall increase of output from Legnica.
He explains, “In 2011, the Gates belt kit range was around 600 SKUs, with up to 16 components inside each box. There are now over 1,200 SKUs with up to 23 parts inside some kits.” Accelerating demand and broader ranges of SBDS and ABDS belt kits have been the significant driving forces for the dramatic growth.