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Kalmar invests in expansion to its Ottawa plant

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has announced that it is to upgrade and expand its manufacturing plant in Ottawa, Kansas, home to the company’s terminal tractor manufacturing operations in North America.

The investment, worth close to EUR 20 million, will eventually enable the plant’s annual production capacity to be doubled, making it the largest terminal tractor manufacturing facility in North America. The investment is driven by the growing demand from the logistics industry for eco-efficient equipment solutions that do not rely on fossil fuels to operate.

The project will see a purpose-built extension added to the factory to manage the increased flow of incoming materials and the introduction of new assembly line feeding technology to reduce the use of forklifts and minimise materials and movements in the production area.

The existing line will be converted to a high-speed line for ‘rapid build’ distribution terminal tractors and a completely new ‘flex line’ with state-of-the-art technology will be added to enable high-volume production of Kalmar’s fully electric and high-end terminal tractor models.

Sustainability is at the core of the expansion project, with the plant employing eco-efficient lighting, maximising the use of renewable energy and implementing material handling processes designed to minimise waste. The plant layout has also been designed to protect the wellbeing of personnel, with safety and assembly ergonomics being critical considerations.

Michel van Roozendaal, President, Kalmar Mobile Solutions: “We are very excited about taking this huge leap forward in the North American market. When the addition to the plant opens up in 2023 we will have achieved our vision of a Kalmar smart factory with fully digitalised assembly processes. Not only will it be the biggest terminal tractor manufacturing facility in North America by some distance, but it will also be a true American powerhouse for the manufacture of eco-efficient cargo-handling equipment.”

“This investment puts us in an excellent position to strengthen our market leadership in North America. The new smart factory will drastically reduce our lead times while increasing the overall safety, quality and efficiency of our production process. We have a long history here in Ottawa and are excited to continue our growth in this community,” says Alan Wilson, Director of Operations, Ottawa Plant, Kalmar.