Construction equipment, farm tractors and other off-highway machines need more than just diesel engines, big tires and metal tracks to operate. They require hydraulic mechanisms to steer, raise booms, open buckets or tilt blades.
Manufacturers today are producing a wider range of products than ever. Life cycles are shrinking and demand for customization is increasing. As a result, assembly lines must be as flexible as possible without compromising efficiency. That’s why companies producing everything from pumps to pistols and caskets to chainsaws depend on mixed-model assembly.
When pilots fly the Boeing Co. Dreamliner 787-9 over Utah, they probably don’t point out to passengers the headquarters of Orbital ATK’s aerospace structures division (ASD) in the town of Clearfield. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume they’re happy the facility is there.
Today’s car buyers typically order a number of custom options for their vehicles at the time of purchase. In turn, the automaker must identify and track each vehicle throughout the production process to ensure that all options are installed. Volvo Car Corp. uses RFID tags to meet this challenge.
Small gas engines are the lifeblood of the outdoor power equipment industry. They run all sorts of commercial and consumer devices, ranging from lawnmowers and generators to power washers and portable welders.