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The Kenworth assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, recently received a 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award for its continuous improvement paint project, which implemented innovative protective coverings to enhance quality and increase operational efficiency. The award was presented by the Manufacturing Leadership Council of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
"This award is quite an accomplishment for the employee team at Kenworth Chillicothe," said Judy McTigue, Kenworth assistant general manager for operations. "We work closely with our suppliers to develop world-class manufacturing processes that support production of the world’s best trucks."
To capture an award in the operational excellence category, the Kenworth Chillicothe team used Six Sigma lean manufacturing principles to achieve measurable positive results, cut costs and waste, streamline and increase manufacturing performance, and improve overall equipment effectiveness.
Kenworth jointly developed foamed-backed custom hard covers with its partner HardGuard. The covers use “cling pod” technology for securing them to the exterior body panels of Kenworth trucks during the paint process. Once installed, the covers provided added protection of the painted surface starting at the forward edge of the cab door through to the sleeper exit and toolbox doors.
A second type of protective cover jointly developed with partner AGI Systems utilizes a new polyurethane-based material that can be custom molded to any component. The covers provide increased component protection during critical assembly processes.
"Our employees are dedicated to building the industry’s highest quality heavy-duty trucks here at the Chillicothe plant," said Rod Spencer, Kenworth Chillicothe plant manager. "Our manufacturing engineering and quality teams implement innovative continuous improvement programs focused on delivering enhanced quality for fleets and truck operators."
The Chillicothe plant, along with Kenworth’s facility in Renton, Washington, also recently earned the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2015 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build class 8 trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner.
For more information, visit www.kenworth.com.