KEARNEY, Neb. — Eaton Corp. will move its gear machining operation from its Kearney plant to its Hastings plant.
“We need the capacity in Kearney for growth in the valve business,” said Jim Michels, business communications manager of the Eaton Vehicle Group in Southfield, Mich. “This will be significant growth. We need more manufacturing space in Kearney.”
The move will free up 20,700 square feet in Kearney for expanded valve production.
The move is due to start in mid-2013, Michels said.
Between 20 and 25 employees will be affected, but none will lose their jobs, Michels said. All will be offered a choice of moving to Hastings or being retrained for other positions in Kearney.
“Neither facility will have any jobs lost. In fact, we may be adding jobs,” he said.
The Eaton plant in Hastings does gear forging and gear machinery, so the transfer fits perfectly, Michels said. That plant currently has 50 employees.
The Kearney plant has 418 employees.
Michels said that “strict global requirements coming in for fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions” are drawing auto manufacturers to Eaton.
Eaton has seen substantial growth in sales of its hollow engine valves, which are a “different kind of valve that can handle heat and have a higher performance,” Michels said.
The valves are critical because of pending federal requirements for better vehicle fuel efficiency.