Kalmar invests $21 million in Ottawa plant expansion project

Kalmar Ottawa

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, will upgrade and expand its manufacturing plant in Ottawa, Kansas to address growing demand for electrically powered terminal tractors.

The investment, worth close to €20 million ($21.3 million), is expected to double the plant’s annual production capacity, making it the largest terminal tractor manufacturing facility in North America.

Kalmar has disclosed that 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, and sustainability is at the core of the expansion project.

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.

Kalmar said that the existing line will be converted to a high-speed line for ‘rapid build’ distribution terminal tractors and a new ‘flex line’ will be added to enable high-volume production of fully electric and high-end terminal tractor models.

The plant layout has also been designed to protect the wellbeing of personnel, with safety and assembly ergonomics being critical considerations.

“We are very excited about taking this huge leap forward in the North American market,” said Michel van Roozendaal, President of Kalmar Mobile Solutions.

“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.

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