Flexible assembly lines, lean principles, and a focus on plant safety were among the priorities for the new 185,000-sq-ft plant that the Equipment Business Unit of Holland LP opened this past summer in University Park IL.
Framework for a rail container body is welded upside down. To maximize the plant’s flexibility, Holland frequently uses assembly tables mounted on casters.
This aluminum container shell provides shelter for rail welding equipment. European regulations ban trucks driving on the rails, so the equipment and this container will be mounted on a platform car.
Holland has been branching out from its core railroad market. This container houses an emergency communications center designed to be carried on a medium-duty truck.
Rear of the emergency communications center contains the generators and a vertical storage compartment from which the telescoping antenna can be raised. The front of the container houses the office.
The emergency communications center is housed in a container that can be shipped via land, sea, or air. Retractable 10,000-lb capacity axles enable the container to be towed. Jacks stabilize the communications center when in use at its destination.
Holland’s mobile welder moves down the line on casters. When operational, the company’s container welder is equipped with everything required for specialized rail welding operations. At this point in production, the hydraulically powered welding machine manipulator, foreground, has been installed on the platform body capable of being mounted on a truck chassis or rail car. The enclosure, rear, houses the power unit that drives both the hydraulic equipment and the welding machines.
TrackSTAR is a hi-rail vehicle that can analyze the integrity of the track while traveling at speeds of approximately 40 mph. Holland’s patented Vista technology uses lasers to optically measure the track gauge at both an unloaded point and at the point where the axle produces the load. The difference between the two measurements indicates the condition of the track.
Chassis move through a center aisle that stretches almost the entire length of the plant. It includes a chassis prep cell, along with body and equipment mounting, before the completed trucks leave the building though a dedicated exit door for road testing.
Extended weld beam truck provides extended reach for welding rail turnouts (switches).
This “grasshopper” cleans the web of rails.
At the other end of the plant, this warehouse feeds production lines, with just enough parts for one day’s production being placed where needed throughout the plant as the day begins.
The new plant has two warehouses—one on each end of the building. Aftermarket parts are stored in this one. Parts are shipped out to support customer vehicles, including the hundreds of trucks operated by Holland’s railroad service operating units.
Holland set up its fabrication department at one end of the rectangular building. The location is convenient to the warehouse that feeds production.
These dies conform to the shape of rails. They are used clean the rails welded by Holland equipment.
Finishing line includes cleaning booth (foreground), paint kitchen, and a 65-ft downdraft paint booth (background).
The Holland plant previously was home for a distribution center. Holland did not need this loading dock but wanted access to the plant through this door—which this ramp provides.
Gemba board keeps plant personnel informed of current production metrics.
Related story: Holland’s New plant builds
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