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HDMA spotlights Western Star, Grote equipment relationship

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David Sickels is the Associate Editor of Tire Review and Fleet Equipment magazines. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

HDMA is spotlighting lighting components from Grote Industries, whose LED headlamps are used in the new Western Star 49X work trucks. These new trucks from Western Star Trucks — a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) — have headlamps built around a patented bi-optic system that delivers what the company calls a perfect mix of wide, long-range visibility.

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To deliver on Western Star’s request for the headlamp technology, Grote ramped up production with a new manufacturing facility built specifically to produce LED headlamp platforms. Additionally, the Western Star 49X headlamps are equipped with a proprietary lens technology that automatically melts ice and snow in cold temperatures and clears the lens of fog in humid weather.

“Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) rely on numerous supplier partners — like Grote — in the vehicle development process,” said Dave Giroux, president and chief operating officer of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA). “All industry vehicle launches contain the power of OE and supplier collaboration with the bar continually being elevated in the areas of safety, technology, fuel efficiency, quality, durability, and comfort for the betterment of the end-customer.”

To deliver on Western Star’s request for superior technology with the most collaborative experience possible, Grote moved swiftly to ramp up production with a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility built specifically to produce LED headlamp platforms. Called the Next Generation Manufacturing Center (NGMC), the location in their world headquarters in Madison, Ind. serves as Grote’s LED headlamp production headquarters. The manufacturing process from molding to assembly is consolidated at NGMC to optimize the one-piece flow.

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Additionally, the facility features 1,500-ton injection molding for large components and 250-ton injection molding for smaller parts and accessories.

“Technology partnerships between OEMs such as Western Star Trucks and first-class suppliers such as Grote highlight the inimitable nature of the commercial vehicle marketplace,” Giroux said. “This prime example between Western Star and Grote is just our first exploratory example of the power of synergies in our industry and one that will be explored with every OEM and HDMA member company. Placing the first Beam on Grote provides an appropriate spotlight of exceptional association for the benefit of drivers and society alike.”

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