How Shocks Are Made
Opened in 1970, the Tenneco manufacturing plant in Paragould, Arkansas covers over 450,000 square feet with warehousing and strut assembly manufacturing nearby. The Paragould facility is the second largest plant in the Tenneco portfolio, which consists of more than 100 manufacturing operations and is the main manufacturing plant for Monroe aftermarket suspension in North America. Every year, millions of shocks are produced at the Paragould facility.
First, raw steel arrives and is made into shock and strut tubes and rods. Then, manufacturing cells cut, stamp and weld components used downstream. Quality and consistency is very important, which is why every single shock or strut is measured against its original design specifications. Noncompliant parts are rejected and put into the scrap bin.
Paragould has achieved many international quality standards like ISO TS16949 AND 14001. Paragould is environmentally friendly and has made a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases along with 100% compliance with wastewater treatment and recycling.
While assembling the lower-mount base cup, each component is visually inspected and measured against the design specifications on an hourly basis. The purpose of this is to catch any machine or material changes. Many Paragould team members are cross-trained to work with multiple machines so knowledge and experience is shared to benefit the entire organization.
In the rod department, 20-foot-long steel raw stock is fed into the process. The steel begins its course through heat treating, quenching, grinding and threading to yield a hardened shock rod that meets our OE quality standards.
In the powder metal department, we blend, stamp and heat-treat shock and strut control valves. During this process, we specify raw material and blend our own formula of micro-ingredients to yield a completed part up to its specifications. More than 150 different parts are created in the powder metal section, where up to 120 tons of pressure are exerted to form the part. After the press, parts are loaded into a sinter furnace for three hours to heat-treat the part to the required hardness.
At the production lines, employees assemble shocks and struts with all the finished internal components and paint is applied via a water-based, low-VOC process. Finally, the shocks and struts are packaged and prepared to ship to customers all over North America.