Core Molding Technologies Inc. (Columbus, Ohio, USA), a North American compounder of custom sheet molding compound (SMC) and molder of fiberglass-reinforced plastics (FRP), announced on March 19 that it has completed production of its 2 millionth truck hood. Recognition events were held at each of Core’s four manufacturing facilities to celebrate the achievement.
Since its inception as an independent company in 1997, Core has produced hood assemblies for the medium-duty and heavy-duty truck industry, supplying all four major heavy truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). “No one in the industry comes close to matching Core’s experience in the manufacturing of hoods for the commercial truck industry,” says Kevin L. Barnett, president and CEO of Core. “Reaching this significant milestone of producing 2 million truck hoods is the strongest indicator of our expertise in this area, and testimony to the confidence our customers have in our capabilities,” he adds.
“We are currently active on 32 separate hood programs, across seven truck brands, producing approximately 150,000 truck hoods per year,” says Terry J. O’Donovan, vice president, marketing and sales for Core. “We produce truck hoods in a wide range of fiber-reinforced plastics processes, from low-volume spray-up processes appropriate for specialty vehicles and aftermarket requirements, through the highest volume compression molding of SMC,” he continues. Since 1997, approximately 6 million commercial trucks have been produced in North America. “To have supplied one-third of the hoods for those vehicles is quite an accomplishment for one manufacturer,” O’Donovan says.
Almost all commercial truck hoods today are produced from fiberglass reinforced plastics. Production involves the tooling and molding of individual components, and a complex assembly process that depends on significant engineering and manufacturing knowledge to bring all the components together into a functional assembly. Manufacturers are also responsible for preparing the hoods for final painting by the commercial truck OEMs.
Core is the largest supplier of composite moldings and assemblies to the North American heavy truck industry. The company produces truck hoods at its plants Columbus and Batavia, Ohio; Gaffney, S.C., USA, and Matamoros, Mexico.