Volvo Penta has started a final assembly line for production of its industrial versatile – or variable speed – diesel engines at its established marine engine factory in Lexington, Tenn. The company said the move will improve customization of engine orders based on specific requirements and reduce delivery lead times for its growing customer base in the North American market.
Since introduction of its Tier 4 final range in 2014, Volvo Penta said it has experienced significant growth in the industrial market including segments such as materials handling, construction, raw material exploration, ground support, agriculture, forestry and power generation.
“Over the past three years, our industrial business has increased substantially and we’re confident our penetration into the market will only become stronger,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “The decision to begin final assembly at our wholly-owned facility right here in the United States was made not just to improve flexibility and lessen lead times for our customers today, but also to put us in a better position to support future customer needs as we expand our business and enter new industrial segments.”
Previously, Volvo Penta either had to maintain a stock of finished industrial diesel engines or order them from Volvo Group facilities outside of the U.S. with a 12- to 14-week lead time. Now, a stock of base engines will be maintained at the Volvo Penta facility in Tennessee, as well as all components for the company’s D5, D8, D11, D13 and D16 engines. When a customer order is placed, the engine and components are pulled from the shelves and the engine is built, programmed and tested to the specifications required. Orders will be delivered within two weeks.
“Catering to the versatility of our customers’ individual specifications, we’re now able to provide them with far greater flexibility to order exactly what they need, while significantly shortening the window of delivery,” said Darren Tasker, vice president of industrial sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas.
Volvo Penta said it has made significant investments and improvements within its 210,000 sq.ft. Tennessee production facility to support the endeavor, including an diesel engine test cell that enables the company to perform testing and specification certification.
The company will continue to produce gasoline marine engines for worldwide distribution at the Tennessee facility, as well.