Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America in Russells Point has recently completed a two-year expansion project bringing new jobs and state-of-the-art equipment to the area.
Pictured left are Honda employees working on the new CVT production line.
The $120 million plus project to expand Honda Transmission Mfg. is for the new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that will be featured in the 2013 Honda Accord. The new Accord starts mass production on Monday.
Honda Transmission Plant Manager Gary Hand says, “Our continuing investments in Ohio illustrate how we intend to meet the needs of our global customers by implementing advanced technologies in our production operations and in our products.”
Michael Fagan is the Senior Manager for the expansion project. He noted how the 100 more jobs made by the new production line will benefit the community and the expansion shows the plant is staying on top of technology.
Listen to Fagan talk about the expansion project and its impact on Honda.
Fagan also touched on the speed at which the project has been completed. The 3-phase expansion broke ground two years ago and is now building products around the clock.
Phase 1 had a cost of $75 million and consisted of constructing the new building and beginning work on the assembly line. The addition added 200,000 square feet to the plants area.
Phase 2 cost $10 million and added the new employee entrance, visitor entrance, locker rooms, parking lot, and other areas to the front of the building. Two 2,500-ton die-cast systems were also installed.
Phase 3 ran $55 million and was focused on high-pressure die-cast expansion for the plant.
Honda started with about 60 employees on the line a day and are slowly ramping it up to a goal of 1,250 employees on the line a day. There are currently 360 employees daily on the CVT line.
The new production line was made using many ergonomically based studies, making robots in the plant both state-of-the-art and user friendly.
The addition also features “clean rooms” in and out of the main area. When questioned on the reason behind them, Fagan explained the importance of cleanliness around the new transmissions. Some pieces of the new products have only a 20-micron clearance. In relation, a thick piece of hair is about 40 microns.
The purpose of the expansion process was to enable the production of the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is being produced specifically for the new 2013 Accord.
The locally produced Continuously Variable Transmission is a part of Honda’s new “Earth Dreams” powertrain series. The high-tech system, which is a major advancement in the new 2013 Accord, focuses on better gas-mileage while producing a smoother ride.
Pictured right are Continuously Variable Transmissions ready to be shipped.
Greg Dawson is the Accord Transmission New Model Leader and expressed how Honda’s goal with the new Earth Dreams powertrain is to gain fuel efficiency leadership while achieving a fun driving experience.
He says the biggest difference between a regular automatic transmission and the new CVT technology is the lack of gears in the new system, which has instead been replaced mostly by belts and pulleys.
Listen to Greg Dawson talk about the new transmission and how it’s being manufactured locally.
More power up front and less time waiting on speed was another goal behind the system. Drivers of the new powertrain remarked how it is like driving a V6 engine, but having the efficiency of a four cylinder.
Dawson noted how the fuel-efficiency and power of the system will be very well received by the public.
In studies, the powertrain produces a 10 percent improvement when it comes to using fuel.
The new 2013 Honda Accord is set to start mass production Monday at the Marysville Honda Plant.
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Watch a video of the new production line in action.