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For the first time ever, Crown Equipment Corporation will begin building its own liquid propane gas engines for its latest line of forklifts.
Since Crown’s line of C-5 Series forklifts were first launched in 2009, they have been fitted with 2.4 liter LPG engines provided by John Deere Power Systems, although Crown engineers worked with Deere jointly develop the engine.
Then, in 2012, Crown bought a 165,500 square foot manufacturing facility in Troy, Ohio. It currently is refitting the facility to produce the engines themselves. Deere is supporting Crown through the transition of the engine production at the new facility.
Once complete, engines manufactured at the Troy facility will be shipped to the Crown assembly plant in nearby Greencastle, Indiana, where they will be fitted into the C-5 Series forklifts.
“Long Tradition of Vertical Integration”
Jim Dicke III, president of Crown Equipment, said the decision continues the company’s long tradition of integrated manufacturing by bringing customers value in innovative ways.
Crown’s integrated manufacturing practices “provide a level of control and consistency that brings unsurpassed quality and increased dependability and reliability to customers,” Dice told the website SHD Logistics. “It’s a forward-thinking culture that Crown embraces globally, and has resulted in competitive differentiation for the Crown lift trucks customer experience.”
Crown says it put together a “premier team of automotive and industrial engine experts” to drive the new Troy facility. The company worked closely with best-in-class manufacturers from related segments to learn the best practices for high-performance engines, according to Dave Besser, Crown’s senior VP for manufacturing.
“A Crown Forklift on the Inside, Too”
“Throughout all of our manufacturing operations we use what we believe to be some of the most advanced manufacturing and related practices for support tooling, fabrication, assembly, electronics and finishing,” Besser said. “We invest in training and sophisticated manufacturing technology to ensure that quality and precision are built into each step of the process. As a result, our customers know that the forklift they receive isn’t just a Crown forklift on the outside. It’s a Crown forklift on the inside, too. And this is a difference customers value.”
The C-5 Series is build for both indoor and outdoor use. It is especially good for harsh conditions that might be too tough for other types of vehicles. C-5 Series forklifts are equipped with specialized, highly durable components including an on-demand cooling system that extends product life, increases uptime and reduced total maintenance costs.
Forklifts in the C-5 Series can handle capacities of up to 3 tons.
Dave Beddow, vice president of manufacturing operations for Crown Equipment, recently said the company has a long tradition of vertical integration in its manufacturing.
Helps Control Dependability and Reliability
“Vertically integrated manufacturing provides Crown Equipment a level of control that enables unsurpassed quality, and increased dependability and reliability for our customers,” Beddow during a talk at this year’s IMPACT Manufacturing Summit in Denver in August. “By sharing our experience and successes, we hoped to mitigate some of the perceived and real risk of vertical integration for conference attendees. Topics included levels of commitment, types of infrastructure, and partnerships to assure manufacturing’s ability to continue to produce components that achieve high quality and maximum flexibility at competitive costs.”
Beddow said Crown Equipment designs and manufactures the majority of its forklifts and components, including electric motors, drive units, valve bodies, masts, power units, cylinders, electronic modules, wire harnesses, forks, seats and more. The company is vertically integrated across 16 global manufacturing facilities and the approach extends throughout its distribution model of Crown-owned branches and independent dealers.
Crown’s Troy facility recently earned ISO 9001:2008 certification that specifies requirements for a quality management team.