Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trailer-Body Builders Magazine: “Universal Trailer Introduces a New Concept in Multi-Plant Trailer Production”

Universal Trailer’s newest manufacturing facility, planned and designed by Ghafari, was recently highlighted in Trailer-Body Builders Magazine. The article, titled “Universal Trailer Introduces a New Concept in Multi-Plant Trailer Production”, details Universal Trailer’s adoption of a hub and spoke model, in which trailer suppliers feed their new facility in Bristol, Indiana with the components required to produce trailers up to 24 feet long. What is innovative about production at this facility is that it stops short of completing the trailer and instead builds trailer kits that are shipped to other Universal Trailer facilities across the country.

“The idea is very scalable,” says Scott Samuels, Director of Marketing for Universal Trailer’s Cargo Group. “If we open a manufacturing facility in the Southeast, the plant here has the capacity to handle it. We produce kits here and ship them to the new location. The new location essentially serves as an assembly facility, which we can open at less cost than if we chose to operate a string of self-sufficient manufacturing plants. The modular production process enables us to meet global market demands…all the while keeping our quality high.”

The nearly 200,000 SF, $25 million Bristol plant represents a significant investment for Universal Trailer, who aimed to revolutionize their business by ushering in a more technologically sophisticated approach to manufacturing.

Universal Trailer originally called on Ghafari consultants to analyze their business practices and production processes in 2014 with an eye towards improving their cost and quality metrics. Based on this analysis, we recommended that they invest in cutting-edge automated systems, requiring the construction of an all-new cargo trailer manufacturing plant to house the technology. Universal Trailer engaged our team to provide the process planning and complete architecture and engineering services for this milestone project, which opened in March.

Read the full article here.