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ROCKWELL'S ASHEVILLE, N.C., PLANT PRODUCES 1-MILLIONTH AXLE

 ROCKWELL'S ASHEVILLE, N.C., PLANT PRODUCES 1-MILLIONTH AXLE
 FLETCHER, N.C., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Asheville, N.C., plant of Rockwell International Corporation's Automotive business produced its 1-millionth axle last week -- a tribute to the dedication and commitment to quality of the plant's 518 employees, said Rockwell Automotive President Ronald L. Roudebush.
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 "The axles coming out of our plant clearly and consistently demonstrate Rockwell's commitment to quality and to our customers," said Roudebush, who attended the milestone celebration and press briefing along with Rick Martello, general manager of Rockwell's Axle business.
 Plant Manager Stephen D. Wells said that the Asheville facility -- opened in 1983 -- continues to encourage its people to actively participate in making decisions that affect their jobs, an approach that has paid off in increased efficiency, productivity and quality.
 Roger Buckner, a nine-year veteran of the axle housing department, said the team approach has played an important role in the plant's ability to produce 1 million axles in less than 10 years. "Everyone working at this facility has an opportunity to express ideas on how the operation could be improved," Buckner said. "And, by delivering the highest-quality axles on time, our customers benefit the most with outstanding quality componentry," he said.
 Moreover, Ronnie Banks, a machinist at the Asheville plant since it opened, said that strong competition within the trucking industry has prompted companies to look for new ways to increase efficiency and productivity. "Working together as a team and sharing ideas has definitely led to our ability to produce 1 million axles," Banks said.
 Wells said the 492,000-square-foot Asheville plant is a fully integrated manufacturing facility equipped for all major processes, including metal forming, welding, machining and heat treating that conclude with the assembly of medium- and heavy-duty single and tandem drive axles.
 The plant features the latest in axle manufacturing technology, including automated machining equipment that provides additional capacity for machining and assembly of Rockwell's popular family of RS- and RT-series drive axles. The Asheville plant also began assembling front non-drive steer axles in March of this year.
 Asheville's production of 1 million axles extends Rockwell's company-wide production to more than 10 million medium- and heavy-duty axles produced in North America alone -- emphasizing the company's position as the leader in axle manufacturing. Axles are also produced in Brazil, Italy, Mexico and other countries.
 In addition to Wells, principal officers at the Asheville plant include: Madison McElroy, manufacturing manager; Bill Smith, materials manager; Fred Harbinson, engineering reliability manager; Jim Lanning, manufacturing engineering manager; and Mark Richter, controller.
 Based in Troy, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, Rockwell Automotive operates 56 manufacturing facilities and affiliated companies in 15 countries, with almost 17,000 employees worldwide.
 Components Rockwell Automotive produces include axles, brakes, clutches and drivelines for customers around the world; on-board data computers; plastic body panels and hoods for light and heavy-duty trucks; and anti-lock braking systems for heavye-duty vehicles. The company's growing passenger car component systems are supplied to car manufacturers around the world.
 Rockwell International (NYSE: ROK) is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 8/21/92
 /NOTE: A photo of the milestone celebration is available without charge on your photo receiver. Have photo editor dial in to 212-967-1293, 212-643-2005 or 212-643-2006, and ask for PRN 0821DE1D-S.
 CONTACT: Mike Pennington of Rockwell Automotive, 313-435-1933/
 (ROK) CO: Rockwell International Corporation ST: North Carolina, Michigan IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE009 -- 2124 08/21/92 12:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 21, 1992
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