Wacker Neuson Corp. has opened a 168,500-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Norton Shores, Mich. The facility, located just outside Muskegon and directly across Lake Michigan from Wacker Neuson’s Menomonee Falls, Wis., headquarters, will manufacture the climate-control product line and assembly of light towers and will also serve as the distribution hub for the company’s new compact equipment line.
The facility, on a 37-acre parcel of land, will manufacture hydronic heaters, indirect-fired heaters, heat exchangers, air movers, dehumidifiers and light towers. It features sufficient space for current and future demand with room for expansion.
Wacker Neuson purchased the Spring Lake, Mich.-based Ground Heaters operation in 2006. The new facility is two miles from the previous manufacturing facility.
“A primary consideration for locating the new building so close to the existing facility was to utilize our talented work force,” said Ed Jaroszewicz, director of climate control for Wacker Neuson. “Their experience and dedication was critical to our success and will be essential to our future growth.”
Wacker Neuson is using a “focus factory” model to develop two factories within the new facility: one for climate-control equipment and the other for light towers. The manufacturing concept merges all aspects of the production process into a single area of concentration, divided into production stations. Every employee on the line will know the process at each station, so the worker can move with the product from start to finish. Wacker began using the focus factory process in 1995 and realized significant gains, reducing lead times as well as inventory levels.
“Our goal is to ensure quality equipment is available when our customers need it,” added Jaroszewicz.