UniCarriers Americas Corporation expanded its campus with the addition of a 120,000-square-foot facility, increasing its manufacturing space by 30 percent and the total campus size by 53 percent. The company made the $2 million investment due to growth it has been experiencing.
“Our investment in the campus expansion positions us to support the future growth initiatives we’ve identified,” said Anthony Salgado, president, UniCarriers Americas. “As UniCarriers Americas expands its product line offerings and increases its global market presence, we require additional manufacturing space to keep up with the demand.”
Located at 201 North Prospect St., the new facility is directly across the street from its current 383,000-square-foot campus headquarters, and one-quarter mile away from its 74,000-square-foot parts distribution center. The new facility sits on 18 acres that will provide the opportunity for further facility expansion, as well as much-needed additional parking to support the company’s growing labor force.
The first move to utilize the expansion involved relocation of the UCA finished goods warehouse and shipping operation. This transfer allows vehicle assembly operations to be increased in the Main Plant to support the growing demand UCA is currently experiencing. This year, the company purchased additional laser cutting machines, and plans to relocate existing equipment, dedicating 25 percent of the new facility space to the laser cutting fabrication process. This “focused factory” approach will allow UCA to continue to vertically integrate and produce quality products at competitive cost. The additional space will allow welding operation expansion to support future product introductions.
The remaining space will be used for additional warehousing, training, testing, as well as research and development. As a result of relocating its R&D, UniCarriers Americas will also have room to expand painting operations within its manufacturing facility.
“This investment was necessary to support increased demand for our products,” said Dale Mark, vice president, manufacturing operations, UniCarriers Americas. “With expectations for continued sales growth, and in anticipation of new product lines, this expansion will position UniCarriers Americas to be well-prepared.”
Through the addition of this new facility, UniCarriers Americas will be able to localize the manufacturing of three-wheel electric models (currently produced in Europe), along with a new light-duty walkie pallet truck, which had once been considered for production in China. Also, localization of the company’s research and development means shifting design control for many of its new product development projects, and needed resources to support these initiatives, to Marengo.
An additional portion of the new annex is being leased to one of its suppliers. This strategy of localizing manufacture of key components benefits UniCarriers Americas’ efficiency – and ultimately, final delivery to its customers – by receiving daily supplies of sequenced parts.
“The manufacturing expansion is part of our ongoing supply chain management strategy,” said Salgado. “With all these activities, we anticipate an increased labor force will be required here in the U.S.”