US brake remanufacturer NeoBrake Systems is 30 years’ old. The company opened its doors in Milwaukee in 1988 and says it plans to celebrate its birthday year through to October 2019, with special promotions and “anniversary merchandise and gifts”.
Founder and president/CEO Rick Ballew, who managed a reman shop in the city for United Brake Systems before setting up on his own, remembers when the use of asbestos was discontinued in 1982. “I saw brake material go from consisting of three basic components to over eight with non-asbestos formulas,” he recalls. “But no one has been able to replicate the wonders and performance of asbestos fibre, but we’ve come as close as anyone, and that’s something we pride ourselves on.” The privately-owned company remanufactures heavy-duty brakes and asbestos-free brake linings and pads, as well as an supplying wheel-end components, brake shoes and accessories under the Matrix brand name.