Auto Truck employees and customers gather at the opening of the company’s new ship-through facility in Kansas City.
Most of the 68,000-sq-ft shop is dedicated to upfitting production from the nearby Ford plant. The plant is building the new Transit and will begin manufacturing the new F-150 as well by the second quarter of 2015.
Auto Truck believes that preassembly of components is one of the keys to upfitting vehicles efficiently.
One of the things Auto Truck does to improve quality and efficiency is to produce its own wiring harnesses as required. The harnesses are designed by the Auto Truck engineering team to serve a variety of electrical needs.
Components are preassembled away from the installation bays in order to minimize the time customer vehicles are required to be in the shop.
Installation teams can consist of multiple technicians or a single installer.
The new Auto Truck shop is more than a high-volume ship-through operation. The company has a long history of providing high-spec work trucks, especially for railroad applications. The two-story shop office, background, helps separate this facet of shop operations from the high-volume ship-through vehicles being completed on the other side.
With minimal columns in the way, the building provides plenty of flexibility for laying out the shop.
This central aisle provides an avenue for material flow while defining work areas for heavy- and medium-duty vehicles.
This gantry system takes the place of bridge cranes installed inside the shop. By using the standalone system, the building did not have to be modified to accommodate a bridge crane.
The shop is built on 17 acres, providing plenty of space for outdoor inventory as well as chassis storage.
Ford provided Auto Truck with this Transit shell to assist the company in planning its upfits.
While built near the Ford plant, the shop also works on other nameplates, including Nissan.
Jenny Skrbina, general manager of the Kansas City operation, is joined by Jim Dondlinger, president; Pete Dondlinger, vice-president of operations; and Denny Jones, vice-president of sales, during the grand opening of the Kansas City facility.
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