September 16, 2019

Dana's Lafayette Fairfield Manufacturing Facility Celebrates 100 Years

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Attendees at the Dana Fairfield Manufacturing plant in Lafayette got to tour parts of the facility during the centennial year celebrations. - Samantha Horton/IPB News

Attendees at the Dana Fairfield Manufacturing plant in Lafayette got to tour parts of the facility during the centennial year celebrations.

Samantha Horton/IPB News

A Lafayette gear manufacturer celebrated 100 years Sunday with current and former employees and their families along with state and local officials.

Greater Lafayette Commerce board chairman Gary Lehman served as president and CEO with the company, now owned by Dana, for about 14 years. He says the plant’s products play a greater role than many realize.

“None of the products that we make are real, real glamorous, you don’t see many of ‘em, but we always like to think that it makes the world turn,” says Lehman. “Because when you have anything that moves, normally has a gear and Fairfield’s been a leader in that manufacturing in this country and in some cases throughout the world.”

The facility produces off-highway gears to help power equipment including field sprayers for crops and aerial lifts.

The international gear manufacturing company plans to increase its presence in electric motors and officials see a bright future for the Fairfield manufacturing plant.

The company relies on steel to make its gears, but Ed Greif, general manager for the Americas, says recent tariffs have not been a major issue.

“It has not impacted us dramatically to this point, and where we’ve had issues, we’ve been able to work with our customers to get through those issues,” says Greif. “So to date we’ve been fairly lucky in that respect.”

Dana, a Fortune 500 company, acquired the Fairfield Manufacturing plant this spring to expand into the off-highway gear market, including agricultural and industrial vehicles.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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