Commercial vehicle wheel manufacturer Accuride Corporation revealed plans to expand its powder coating capacity for steel wheels at its plant in Henderson, KY. Accuride indicated the new coating line would represent a $5.8-million investment.

To help secure the project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Accuride to receive up to $600,000 in tax incentives. The performance-based incentive will allow Accuride to keep some portion of the investment over an undefined term, through corporate income-tax credits and wage assessments. Accuride must meet job and investment targets.

The manufacturer indicated the project would lead to 30 new jobs at that location, where about 160 are now employed. An Accuride representative explained that the project is underway now, and scheduled to be completed before year’s end.

“Our commitment to install an advanced-technology coating line at our Henderson plant will strengthen our ability to supply industry-leading steel wheel products to the North American commercial vehicle market,” stated Accuride president and CEO Rick Dauch,

The plant already has powder-coating capability, but Accuride said the new installation would expand that capability “significantly.”

A source at the company explained Accuride expects the new coating line will be “the most sophisticated powder coat paint system for steel wheels in the commercial vehicle industry.”

He noted that the company is unique among commercial vehicle wheel manufacturers in having an extensive in-house painting and coating-delivery process, “from customized paint formulation to its application on customers’ products. With our new, sophisticated application process will come more advanced coatings from Accuride that are currently under development.”

Accuride produces forged aluminum and steel wheels for heavy-duty commercial truck and trailer OEMs, commercial vehicle fleets, and distributors in the commercial vehicle aftermarket. The Henderson plant ships more than 10,000 heavy steel wheels daily, and the plant also houses the Accuride Wheels R&D, product development, and testing operations.

“Henderson’s range of steel wheels provides customers with several options to reduce vehicle weight, boost fuel economy, fight corrosion and achieve long-life performance,” Dauch added. “Thanks to its new paint line, Henderson will stand alone in the industry in its ability to formulate customized coating solutions and deliver them via its advanced new coatings process.”

Since 2011, Accuride has been investing extensively in its wheel and wheel-end manufacturing operations, notably $55 million to acquire additional aluminum wheel production capacity. Earlier this year it indicated it plans more than $30 million in improvements for its steel wheel operations through 2015.