Schafer Gear Works, Inc. and Somaschini S.p.A. of Italy, recently announced a joint venture to produce gears for engines for the heavy-duty truck market in North America. A new manufacturing facility will be located in South Bend under the name of South Bend Gear LLC. The plant will utilize the process technology developed by Somaschini S.p.A. in Italy with Schafer Gear managing the operations. As part of the joint venture, a new 50,000-square-foot plant is being built on the Schafer Gear campus on Nimtz Parkway in South Bend. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2011 at 50 percent capacity and will reach 100 percent production capacity by the end of 2012. The new plan will employ 12 people in phase one and an additional 13 people, for a total of 25 people, when fully operational. The total joint venture investment is $18 million, including the new manufacturing facility.
"We are extremely excited about the opportunity this joint venture brings to Schafer and to South Bend," said Bipin Doshi, president of Schafer Gear. "Somaschini's long history of quality gear production and its proven technology complements our world-wide reputation for precision cut gears and precisely machined components."