Knorr-Bremse celebrates start of production of Recirculating ball screw Type Steering Gear (RCB) technology at new plant in Thailand

  • Knorr-Bremse announces official start of RCB production in Thailand
  • New plant recently opened by Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems (Thailand) “KBT”
  • Important step to match rapid market recovering in South East Asia
  • KBT provides RCB for top OEMs in the region

Knorr-Bremse recently celebrated the official start of production of its RCB product IPS (Integral Power Steering) at the new Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems (Thailand) “KBT” plant in Chachoengsao, east of Bangkok. Knorr-Bremse senior management, staff and partners witnessed the opening ceremony either online or in person.

“With the start of RCB production in Thailand, we are well positioned to meet the needs of our customer base in South East Asia. We’re aiming to grow our steering business in Thailand, further leverage our position and strengthen our collaboration with the region’s OEMs,” said Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division. “This step strengthens our position as one of the three leading companies in the global commercial vehicle steering market and marks a milestone in our drive to match the fast pace of market growth in South East Asia.”

The new plant, representing a medium single-digit million euro investment, employs over 60 team members and includes a built-over area of 5,520 m² on an 11,200 m² site. KBT’s core product portfolio is focused on IPS, 80 mm and 100 mm cylinder diameter variants, serving light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles. These IPS units feature variable gear ratio and small cylinder diameter for their class, providing benefits of high out-put torque and overall low weight. Furthermore, the Knorr-Bremse's RCB steering system is distinguished by its excellent steering performance, high flexibility, robust design and proven technology.

In commercial vehicles, along with the brakes, the steering is the second key actuator in controlling vehicle dynamics. In recent years Knorr-Bremse has reinforced its expertise in the field of steering – including RCB steering systems and torque overlay steering (TOS). As a systems supplier for commercial vehicle dynamics Knorr-Bremse plays a substantial part in the growing trend toward driver assistance systems, automated driving and e-mobility.

Start of RCB production strengthens Knorr-Bremse’s position in South East Asia

“Our new plant in Thailand opens up further opportunities for our steering business in South East Asia, where, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia, truck production volumes are high and there is further potential for growth. The start of RCB production in Thailand with its ideal central location for logistics, good transportation infrastructure and strong supplier base for the commercial vehicle industry has strengthened our position in South East Asia. We are aiming to further expand KBT’s product portfolio in the coming years and serve a broader customer base in the region,” said Baoping Xu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific (Holding) Ltd.

Founded in 2019, KBT was fast-tracked that same year by Knorr-Bremse's acquisition of the commercial vehicle steering business of Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. in Japan and Thailand. KBT provides RCB systems for top OEMs in the region. The online opening ceremony to mark this latest milestone was staged in Chachoengsao, Shanghai/Hongkong, Tokyo and Munich. The ceremony was attended online by Dr. Peter Laier, Baoping Xu, Thomas Lippert, Member of the Board of Directors of Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific (Holding) Ltd., Kunito Nakatsuru, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Steering Systems Japan Ltd. and Head of Global CoC Steering joining Stephen Wright, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems (Thailand) Limited, in Thailand.