Manufacturing of Roadtec's Shuttle Buggy material-transfer vehicle and pavers has begun in the new addition to the company's facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. A new state-of-the-art paint department is also part of the ongoing growth of the company.
The facility upgrade allows Roadtec to further refine its cellular manufacturing approach, which is a key component of the company's manufacturing methods. Roadtec builds its pavers, mills, material-transfer vehicles and soil stabilizers in product-focused work groups called cells, which house all operations to manufacture a family of products.
Each cell is operated by a team of multi-skilled Roadtec manufacturing employees who have complete responsibility for quality and delivery performance within the cell. Roadtec is using cells as a key technology for reducing customer lead time, improving product quality and delivery and creating an atmosphere of employee involvement and continuous improvement. Roadtec is expecting a 30% average cycle-time reduction across all products as a result of this upgrade.
Existing manufacturing space vacated by the Shuttle Buggy and paver teams will be used to provide more space for the increased production of Roadtec milling machines and the new line of soil stabilizers.
To handle the increased output of the manufacturing cells, the Roadtec paint department has also received a major upgrade in space and technology. An additional paint booth has been constructed, along with a new finishing bay. A new computer-controlled paint system assures precise paint application with dramatically reduced paint waste and improved finish quality in both of the paint booths. After receiving a white coat of paint in the new paint booths, the machines will be decaled and undergo final quality checks in the new finishing bay.
"This new addition to our main manufacturing facility here in Chattanooga marks a new and exciting era for Roadtec," said Jeff Richmond, president of Roadtec. "We've spent the last several years investing in all-new equipment designs across virtually all of our product lines, while at the same, we've also invested heavily in revamping our manufacturing processes to take full advantage of all the benefits that lean manufacturing can offer. With this new addition and our additional investment in new tooling, we now have a world-class facility that will allow us to the space and the manufacturing efficiency to continue to grow this company and add new products and product lines."
Overall, 56,000 sq ft are being added to the company's existing 126,000-sq-ft facility.