The Kenworth assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, recently received a 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The plant was awarded in recognition of its paint project, which implemented protective coverings that further enhanced paint quality and increased operational efficiency in the paint process, according to the company.
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, according to the company.
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 tool box 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, the company says.