East Manufacturing has opened a high-tech manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Randolph, Ohio.
After the redesign of its Aftermarket Parts Center 15 months ago, East continues its growth strategy with the largest single building in its history. The company’s new, state-of-the-art 73,000-sq-ft building, that will accelerate its trailer production capability for its customers, will have the capacity to produce 2,000 trailers annually and require up to 75 more employees per shift when fully operational.
East designed the new facility for production efficiency and quality by streamlining the manufacturing process and incorporating the latest technologies, including robotic equipment, an automated production process and material handling system. To increase productivity and decrease material waste, the robotic equipment will serve as part placers, while robotic welders in both beam and side rail construction areas will ensure maximum output with consistent results for improved weld quality.
Each trailer will be secured to a rotator and will move through a series of workstations, allowing the trailer to be rotated into any position. This method enables easy access to difficult-to-weld areas and creates an ergonomically correct atmosphere, which provides the best quality weld. The automation will greatly increase the throughput, compared to the current production systems.
After each trailer completes the last workstation, a state-of-the-art welder welds the floor seams all at once in one pass, which is the most efficient method for floor attachment. Trailers will have suspension alignment and tire installation complete before exiting the line, eliminating the need for several off-line processes.
“After 18 months of dedicated work by many individuals, we are excited to open the doors of this new production facility in Randolph,” said Dave de Poincy, president of East. “With record levels of production, it will enable us to maximize our efficiency and reduce our backlog.”
In addition to increased manufacturing capacity, the new building will also house parts inventory, allowing more accessibility to frequently needed trailer parts as well as provide material storage for oversized flat steel and aluminum material that is typically housed outside, exposed to the elements. By providing 10,000 square feet of inside accommodations for these oversized materials, East improves quality by reducing material corrosion, rusting and pitting.
An eight-bay mounting center finishes off the new facility with two bays dedicated to truck body installation and six bays for trailer body mounting. The opening of the new mounting bays allows East to reduce the congestion within other East dump trailer departments, increasing efficiencies so those lines can accommodate more trailer output.