Home - Briefing - Start Tour - Assembly - Deep Freezin'

Starting Our Tour

Shown are the rods, the raw materials


It was early morning when we pulled into the driveway past the freestanding Henschen sign to start our Plant Tour. We were taken inside to where the raw materials are stored. These are used to make various parts of the axles, including spindles, torsion arms, brackets, tubes, and flanges. The largest rods are used in making axles that take on the heaviest loads, some up to 10,000 pounds! And, think about this: depending on axle sizes, this plant churns out about 300 finished axles each working day.

    Raw Materials    

It's Spindle Time!
In this next step we saw the rods sectioned, prepped and machined to make the spindles. They are cut to just the right length, then flanges are welded on using turning plates to insure uniform, precision welds each and every time.

These pieces you see to the right are now waiting to be machined into what will look like works of art. Follow us as we watch through the glass to witness first hand what happens next!

    Begin with Cut Rods with Flanges

Like watching an on-stage magic act as we gazed upward, a worker on a platform took one of the welded pieces, placed it into a machine the size of a Peterbilt's cab and set the "forces" into motion with the press of a large green button. The lights flashed, jet-like noises filled the room as if preparing for "takeoff" and droplets madly speckled the window.

Then, as quickly as it began, the noise receded, the lights calmed and from a small door emerged a perfectly shaped, gleaming silver spindle -- a modern day marvel spawned from the marriage of industrial know-how and technological wizardry.

    window view    
In the picture to the right we have opened the window (shown above, right) and are looking at the parts inside. Notice the spindle is being held by the gripper on the left side of the photo.     Inside the window    

Our alchemist had turned "coal" into "diamonds!"

Within less than 30 seconds, the new "silver" spindle shown in the picture to the right was machined, as if it were sculpted, from the raw pre-assembled rods and flanges waiting to be next in line.

Join us next as we enter the Assembly phase.

Home - Briefing - Start Tour - Assembly - Deep Freezin'


Back to the Tour Entrance Page ||| On to the next part of the Tour