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Brüggen Oberfläcken und Systemlieferant GmbH, a trailer manufacturer based in Herzlake, Germany, began producing the Krone Cool Liner refrigerated trailer this year in a new 403,650-sq-ft plant in Lübtheen, small town in the former East Germany. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Starting point for the van assembly process is this cut-to-length line. There coils of prepainted steel are sheared into pieces that are swaged together to form a single skin for the trailer exterior. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Magazines are loaded with logistic track and the vertical support posts used for doubledecking systems. When these metal tracks and posts come out of the magazine, they are coated with the same two-part structural adhesive that holds the top and bottom rails to the sidewalls. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Interior skins of sidewall panels are punched to accommodate these accessories so that they install flat against the inside trailer surface. A special clamping fixture heats the adhesive and clamps all bonded pieces until the adhesive has cured. These panels have not yet received the aluminum extrusions that will cap the edges. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Clamping fixtures hold the top and bottom rails and other extrusions in place while the structural adhesive cures. Each of the five fixtures has a dedicated application: left sidewall, right sidewall, roof, floor, and one for front wall and doors. Ahead (background) are the highrise storage racks (painted blue) that are capable of storing a day’s production of panels when the plant reaches full capacity of 30 trailers per day. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Standard color for Cool Liner refrigerated vans is white. If a custom color is required, panels move through this paint line to have it applied. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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An automated Gietart shotblast machine prepares the surface of steel chassis. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Custom carriers can transport three chassis from the shotblast area to the e-coat line. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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The e-coat line, viewed from the last tank and looking toward the first, has 16 tanks, each with a capacity of approximately 200 cubic meters. They are 52½ feet long, just under 10 feet wide, and 13 feet deep. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Of the 16 tanks in the Brüggen e-coat line, only one applies the e-coat. An electrical charge helps bond the coating to the steel. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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No, this is not the Brüggen swimming pool. This tank contains ionized water, the last rinse tank on the e-coat line. Next to it is a tank also containing ionized water, along with a special solution to help neutralize any residual chemicals. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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These tanks filter the chemicals used in the e-coat process. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Overhead carriers move the chassis through the plant en route to the final assembly area where the vans will be installed. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Conveyor transports an assembled chassis towards the assembly area where it will be equipped with a van. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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A bridge crane moves an assembled van into position to be mounted to a completed chassis. With a ceiling height of more than 44 feet, Brüggen can leapfrog an assembly station to reach another chassis elsewhere in the chassis assembly area. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Bolts secure the chassis to the van. Note the upper coupler area of the chassis, primarily a sheet of steel. The support structure needed in this area is built into the van. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Built into the chassis are storage boxes for transporting empty pallets. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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The last stop in the plant is the final assembly area. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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The Lübtheen konbinat had 130,000 square meters of land (155,489 square feet) when Brüggen bought it. The company has since doubled the size of the property it owns, which comes in handy when trailers are built faster than they can be delivered. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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Only a fraction of the new 75 million plant is shown here. Note the overhead door, made of flexible translucent plastic and metal reinforcing slats. The door can travel from ground level to full height in just a couple of seconds. The descent is slower for safety purposes. Return to article | Return to photo galleries
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A villa built around 1900 has been refurbished to house the offices of the Brüggen plant in Lübtheen.