Greensboro, North Carolina-based Mack Trucks says it has completed an $84 million renovation project called “Reborn” at its Lehigh Valley Operations (LVO) in Macungie, Pennsylvania. According to Mack, the “comprehensive project revitalized the facility’s infrastructure, equipment, systems and processes to create a modernized Lean Manufacturing environment delivering even greater production quality, safety and efficiency.”
“Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations has built high-quality heavy-duty trucks that our customers depend on for 45 years,” says Martin Weissburg, president of Mack Trucks. “This investment in the plant, our people and new processes allows us to continue delivering on Mack’s legendary durability through integrated, modern manufacturing.”
The company says thousands of upgrades were made to the plant’s manufacturing operations, including a 300,000-square-foot expansion to improve material handling and flow; installation of new equipment and tooling; implementation of new manufacturing IT systems; and construction of a new audit building equipped with stalls and CNG test pads for quality checks on completed vehicles.
The site also added a new 20,000-square-foot building for a Customer Adaptation Center and to support the Mack LR Electric model that will be commercialized in 2021.
Among the products made at the LVO complex postrenovation will be Mack LR Electric refuse model, to be equipped with what it calls a fully electric integrated Mack drivetrain. Orders for the LR Electric will open in the fourth quarter of 2020, with deliveries beginning in 2021.
Mack says a major component of the project was the insourcing of complete chassis assembly to better manage and streamline the manufacturing process. The company also says the “entire facility was given a fresh coat of paint and new, efficient lighting, offering customers and employees an enhanced experience.”
LVO added a new lobby and visitor welcome center, a remodeled Mack Shop merchandise store, redesigned cafeteria and office spaces, plus increased restroom capacity. Parking capacity also was expanded and a new logistics building was added to the campus.
“LVO has been completely transformed compared to the day I arrived in 2016,” says Rickard Lundberg, who as vice president and general manager of LVO led the project. “The physical space has been renovated to allow the openness for employees to learn together and embrace our Lean Manufacturing approach. Without the great people who are part of the LVO team, we could not have created this culture, this spirit of Mack Trucks that is reflected in each vehicle that rolls off the assembly line.”
Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations produced its first trucks in 1975. The 1 million-square-foot facility assembles all heavy-duty Mack trucks built for the North American market and for export, according to the firm.