Building lift trucks in Berea

NACCO Materials Handling Group Inc. is able to mix different models on the same line instead of making lift trucks in batches due to its one-piece workflow-enabling demand flow technology.


Photo Courtesy: Tim Webb PhotographyNACCO Materials Handling Group Inc.'s (NMHG) Berea, Ky., plant manufactures both Hyster and Yale lift trucks. Although there are similarities, each brand offers different options and features that accommodate different applications.

Because demand flow technology (DFT) enables one-piece workflow, NMHG can mix different models on the same line instead of making lift trucks in batches. E-Schedule defines workflow by dividing incoming orders into requirements for the various components manufactured at the Berea plant. From there, the process of building lift trucks begins.

Initial cutting and burning operations are done in a common fabrication area. Although this is a common area, it is logically grouped according to families of parts.

These components are moved into the welding booths where robots weld the major lift truck components such as masts, overhead guards, and frames. Although robots perform most of the welding, some manual welding tasks are required as well.

Welded components and subassemblies are then painted. After painting, mast components go into the mast assembly area. The remaining painted components are placed on the appropriate assembly line.

Lifting capacities determine lift truck sizes. NMHG categorizes these sizes into three ranges for assembly purposes. Three separate lines handle lift truck assembly according to these ranges.

“When the truck is put online, it triggers various feeder cells and subassemblies,” White said. “Then we start assembling the truck. We prep the frame; put in the power train; and put on the overhead guards, the seat, and the covers. We put each lift truck through various quality checks and test a variety of components. From here we apply the final decals, including the last one that states ‘Made with pride in Berea, Kentucky.’ Each forklift is then prepared for shipping to its final destination.”

Smith is president of BIT Writing and Editing Services and former Plant Engineering editor.

More on 2011 Top Plant

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me