Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) recently invited members of the trade press to tour the $30 million, 200,000-sq.-ft. expansion of its manufacturing facility in Shippensburg, Pa., which is now in full production of its heavy equipment line. The broad-scale expansion of the facility began in June of 2009 to improve manufacturing flow and increase production capacity to meet an anticipated growth in the demand for construction equipment in North America and to incorporate the full-line production of Volvo motor graders.
The facility now covers 580,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing capability and the expanded industrial complex now employs about 600 people.
“The development of this facility is yet another demonstration of the commitment we have made to our dealers and customers to provide them with the finest construction equipment on the market today,” said Göran Lindgren, president of Volvo Construction Equipment North America. “It opens new roads for our sales and marketing operations in North America to meet the opportunities of recent market forecasts and to meet those opportunities with a production facility located within the market we serve.”
The Shippensburg facility currently produces more than 60 models of Volvo asphalt pavers, soil and asphalt compactors, milling machines and motor graders. The expansion, in addition to the installation of new and extensive equipment assembly systems, includes a high-speed motor grader test track, a rubber pit for testing vibrators on compactors and a broad-spectrum materials service center.
Production line practices at the plant now integrate equipment components and tools at strategic line stations to create more effective assembly procedures. This, in turn, is expected to increase equipment production and reduce delivery time. The LEAN 5S+1 system — an element of the Volvo Production System that is being established by plant management — also is designed to substantially eliminate wasted motion and time in the assembly process by placing assembly elements at the line locations to balance, synchronize and cut actual production times. The manufacturing plant carries ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSA 18001 certifications.
The press also was given a tour of Volvo’s Road Institute in nearby Chambersburg, Pa. The Road Institute provides paving contractors, operators, agency and industry personnel with training in hot-mix asphalt paving and the maintenance of paving equipment. Operator courses and seminars are designed
to improve an operator’s skills with both theory and hands-on operation of asphalt paving and compaction equipment.