Combilift, Greensboro, N.C., celebrated its 20-year anniversary by opening the doors to its new Combilift global headquarters in Monaghan, Ireland.
The new 500,000-square-foot global headquarters and manufacturing facility will allow Combilift to double production.
“Mass customization is the new frontier for both the customer and the manufacturer,” says Martin McVicar, managing director. “Increasingly, customers are expecting products to be tailored to meet their needs. Forklift producers that offer customized products generally produce low volume, but Combilift is setting the benchmark by offering the mass production of tailored products, resulting in a strategic advantage for our customers. Traditional forklift manufacturers focus on high-volume mass production of the same products. We evolve with our clients, producing new products each year.”
“The flexibility in our new facility means that Combilift can continue to accommodate any customer request for a customized material handling solution,” adds McVicar. “Customer requirements are our standard. The new factory enables us to double production and remain focused on the needs of our customers and dealers. We have become much more than a forklift manufacturer, and are transforming the transport and logistics sector with our innovative, space-spacing products.”
The new 46,500-square-meter, purpose–built factory is set on a 100-acre site with room for expansion. With 11 acres of roof space, it is said to be one of the largest manufacturing operations under one roof in the Republic of Ireland.
The facility also incorporates the latest manufacturing processes with a focus on sustainability, enabling Combilift to double its output in a single shift across all production lines.
Additional features include:
- Four 90-meter moving assembly lines produce a finished truck every 15 minutes.
- 30% of the roof space is covered in skylights, enabling staff to work in natural daylight without the assistance of artificial lighting.
- Lighting is provided through 1,100 LED lights with individual passive infrared (PIR) sensors.
- Solar panels supply 185 kW of energy with a 1 MW biomass plant fueled by recycled wood (pallets, etc.) to heat the spraying boots and assembly area.
- 110,000 liters of rain water is harvested for use throughout the facility.
More than 50 truckloads of finished products are dispatched to 85 countries each week. Spare parts are also shipped across the world to the dealer network.
The new headquarters and manufacturing facility is also ISO 9001-, ISO 14001- and OHSAS 18001-certified.
The new facility also offers Combi-Connect, a logistic and warehouse design service that allows the customer to see the benefit a Combilift product will bring to their business.
“Our engineers proactively design, plan and produce solutions in collaboration with our customers by offering material flow analysis and 3D animations. We work with customers to produce warehouse designs to visualize the capacity potential as well as the optimum flow of materials on their site,” says McVicar. "We work closely with our customers and dealers to identify solutions that best batch their individual special needs. Combilift invests 7% of its annual turnover (revenue) in research and development to enhance its customization capability. We are intensifying the collaboration with our customers in the warehouse and material handling sectors. The intention is to maximize return on revenue."
The new facility also added a considerable number of high-level employment opportunities for skilled technicians, design engineers, logistics and supply chain specialists and those with mechanical and electrical mechatronics training.
“The investment in people will enable Combilift to meet its ambitious growth plans,” says McVicar. “We have employed an additional 230 people since we announced our plans for this factory in 2015. The combination of this state-of-the-art production plant and a skilled workforce will allow us to double production within the next 5 years.”