Sustainable Investment – Caterpillar Expands its Global Marine Engine Production Facilities
For worldwide release: February 28, 2007
Release Number: M01PR07
Caterpillar is recognised for providing superior customer satisfaction. To accommodate the unprecedented demand for marine engines, Caterpillar has made a substantial investment in improved engine and components manufacturing processes. By implementing the Caterpillar Production System, the company will transform its manufacturing systems to set new standards for quality, safety and speed in the industry. Operations and supply chain management will be carried out utilising consistent processes throughout the entire value chain, and customers will benefit from expanded production capacity and reduced lead times.
Today, Caterpillar operates more than 110 manufacturing locations all around the globe, 10 of which are involved in the production of marine engines. The US-based facilities in Mossville, Illinois; Lafayette, Indiana; Griffin, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina develop and manufacture Cat engines for propulsion, auxiliary and generator-set use. Facilities in Gosselies, Belgium; Peterborough, UK (Perkins); and Wimborne, UK (Sabre) focus on smaller Cat high-speed marine engines and generator sets.
Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co. KG in Kiel, Germany, is the competence centre for the development and production of medium-speed MaK engines for propulsion and generator-set applications. This facility has been serving marine customers for more than 80 years. MaK marine engines are also manufactured at Caterpillar Motoren sites in Rostock, Germany, and Guangdong, P.R. China.
“We have established a long-standing tradition of manufacturing excellence backed by innovative engine designs, sophisticated engineering and superior engine emission reduction technologies”, outlines Hans E. Timm, Managing Director, Caterpillar Motoren. “The ongoing boom in shipbuilding has inspired us to increase our manufacturing capacities. To meet ever-growing customer expectations, we have also improved our processes and invested in our value chain.”
Caterpillar´s world-wide operations and supply chain are being transformed through the deployment of the Caterpillar Production System (CPS). This system is designed to eliminate waste such as idle time, rework and excess inventory. The CPS enables each facility to handle customers’ orders in the safest, most reliable and fastest way possible.
The Kiel engine centre is responsible for assembling the MaK M 20 C, M 25 and M 32 C inline marine engines. Reorganisation of the centre using CPS methodologies has streamlined the assembly process. This project was completed on time without compromising engine quality or delivery, demonstrating Caterpillar’s relentless commitment to customer satisfaction.
The Rostock engine centre, responsible for assembling the MaK M 43 C inline and V-type marine engines, benefited from improved operational flexibility in its engine test cells. Production capacity was extended by moving the assembly of MaK M 32 C V-type engines for propulsion and genset-applications from Kiel to Rostock.
The Guangdong engine centre underwent a comprehensive upgrade of its assembly line, test beds and quality control operations. In 2006, the facility received ISO 9001:2000 certification, factory approval, works approval and MaK M 25 type approval. The addition of M 25 engine production to Guangdong not only increased total capacity but also brought manufacturing closer to the growing number of Asian shipyards. This has reduced delivery times and transport costs for domestic customers.
Creating value for the customer has always been a major criterion for investment in Caterpillar’s global marine engine production facilities. A substantial investment has been made in Kiel on ultra-modern machining equipment for finishing cylinder crankcases, cylinder heads and connecting rods, along with necessary operator training.
“Utilising progressive manufacturing technology will not only expand capacity but also further increase the reliability and durability of MaK marine engines”, Timm explains. “Additional investment has been made at all three MaK manufacturing sites to enhance our assembly, test and paint processes.” He emphasises: “Using 6-Sigma and lean-manufacturing principles we have been able to create a safer work environment and reduce our throughput time for engine assembly by 40%!”
All for the customer
Improving manufacturing flexibility and providing additional production capacity is also the focus of several projects launched at Caterpillar’s facilities in Lafayette, Indiana, and Mossville, Illinois. In addition to that, Caterpillar is investing heavily in employee training globally. Every Caterpillar facility involved in marine engine production is also continually investing in regular audits by leading international Marine Classification Societies, enabling Caterpillar to achieve superior manufacturing quality consistent with the highest international standards.
MaK production hit an all-time record in 2005 with Caterpillar Motoren delivering over 300 engines to customers world-wide and, with all the new machinery and production processes in place, an additional 25% increase in engine shipments from the plants in Kiel, Rostock and Guangdong occurred during 2006.
“To meet market expectations, we have made a massive investment in parts production, assembly lines, test cells and employee training. I am convinced that Caterpillar Motoren is well-prepared to serve future demands,“ Hans E. Timm concludes. “Nevertheless, we will continue investing in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and, together with our highly-engaged workforce, provide world-class marine solutions to world-wide marine customers!”
About Caterpillar Marine Power Systems
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems, with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, brings together all the sales and service activities for Cat and MaK branded marine products within Caterpillar Inc. This organization provides premier marine power solutions (high and medium speed with outputs from 11 kW to 16,000 kW) and customer service from a single source for the global ocean-going, commercial and pleasure craft markets. The Caterpillar Marine Power Systems sales and service network includes more than 2,100 dealer locations world-wide and is well positioned to support customers wherever they are.
More information is available at www.cat-marine.com or www.mak-global.com.
For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2006 sales and revenues of $41.517 billion, Caterpillar is a technology leader and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, clean diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.
More information is available at www.cat.com.
CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the POWER EDGE trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.
Phone: +49 40 2380-3104
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