Generac recognizes that electrical engineers and contractors are always being asked to deliver more … more power, more efficiency, more reliability and as always, more cost savings. To better serve you, as well as fulfill our mission to provide a quality product and ownership experience at an excellent value, Generac has invested significant resources to improve the Eagle and Oshkosh manufacturing facilities.
“The Eagle facility is being reconfigured and will employ state-of-the-art visual manufacturing capabilities,” said Brian Michael, Vice President of Operations – Commercial/Industrial, Generac. “We will continue to invest in the Oshkosh facility to ensure the future needs of our customers who require higher kW generators are met.”
Earlier this year, Generac tested the visual factory concept on a single line at its Whitewater factory. A visual factory is one of the key concepts in lean manufacturing. It refers to a workplace that uses a system of cues and communication tools that impart information visually at the time and place it is needed. The results inspired Generac to implement this concept throughout other areas of the business, with the Eagle plant being the next area of focus.
“Having a visual workplace improves flow of products, materials, and information, resulting in increased productivity, safety, quality and on-time delivery,” said Tim Hearden, Generac’s Senior Vice President of Global Operations.
Examples of these visual enhancements include new conveyor systems and touchscreen computers that provide advanced shop floor controls.
“The touchscreens are used at each workstation along the conveyor and they make any problems, abnormalities, or deviation from our standards visible, so corrective action can be taken before larger problems arise,” Hearden said. “These enhancements improve our quality throughout every step of the manufacturing process and will increase the confidence that our customer have in Generac.”
The touchscreens not only improve quality, but facilitate and accelerate training which allows Generac team members to meet production deadlines more efficiently and effectively, as more team members have the knowledge to work at any station on the line.
The remodeling process at the Eagle facility is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2015.
Generac’s Oshkosh facility was inherited during the acquisition of Baldor in November 2013. Capitalizing on the strengths of the existing equipment and staff, Generac upgraded the facility with its modular and vertically integrated production process to boost capacity for all the 175 kW and larger gensets, including the recently re-launched 750 kW to 2 MW generators.
“These improvements allow us to increase capacity for the re-launched generators and support new products that will be introduced in the future,” Michael said.
Generac uses Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to ensure the upgrades at Oshkosh and Eagle will not affect current production.
“The bottomline is that our commercial and industrial customers will receive world-class generators more quickly and efficiently, with quality enhancements at every step of the process,” Michael said. “Customers that have visited Generac’s facilities in the past will be amazed at the future-forward changes we are making.”
To showcase these improvements, a tour of the Oshkosh facility will be one of the highlights of Engineering Symposium, scheduled for May 3-6, 2015. Symposium registration information will be available soon.