Gehl Company, a worldwide distributor and manufacturer of compact construction and agricultural equipment, has launched an $8.7 million expansion of its Yankton, SD, manufacturing and research and development facilities.
The expansion will add additional manufacturing space and equipment to the Yankton plant, which manufactures telescopic handlers and pavers for the Gehl and Mustang brands. It will also expand manufacturing capacity to accommodate manufacturing several models of telescopic handlers under a license Agreement with Manitou BF S.A. of France.
Construction is underway for a 49,200-sq. ft. (4,571 sq m) addition to the manufacturing floor. The project will optimize the company’s manufacturing flow, facilitate new in-house laser metal-cutting capabilities and increase overall capacity to meet the growing demand for telescopic handlers and pavers.
A 4,000-sq. ft. (372 sq m) addition is also underway to the plant’s R&D building to increase the workspace needed to develop and prototype new products.
“Our plan to add in-house laser metal-cutting capabilities will reduce costs and shorten the lead times improving our production flexibility with our customers,” said Dan Miller, Gehl director of manufacturing operations. “Our ultimate goal is to build more quality telescopic handlers and pavers, and to deliver them to our dealer network faster to meet the demands of their customer markets.”
Miller also said that the company plans to purchase two high-tech laser metal-cutting systems in 2005 plus a third in the future, which should capture about $1.7 million in annual savings. Each system is capable of cutting varying thickness of raw material.
“With these metal cutting systems, we will also ultimately gain additional savings on some secondary processes,” he said.
Gehl also plans to make other improvements to its manufacturing capabilities that include automated forming, machining and welding equipment.
This project is also expected to add new jobs in the Yankton market.
“We’re still in the planning stages relative to the employment opportunities that will be available due to the expansion,” said Miller. “We do expect that we’ll need to add manufacturing and tech positions. These opportunities will also increase as we add additional work from other Gehl facilities.”
Gehl business grew at a record pace in 2004 and demand for the company’s compact equipment is expected to continue to grow in 2005.
“Our investment in expansion of the Yankton facility is part of our ongoing process to meet the increasing demand for all of our core products and to bring new products to market more rapidly,” said William D. Gehl, chairman and CEO of the company. “This will increase our market share and enhance shareholder value.”
Gehl Company’s compact equipment is used worldwide in construction and agricultural markets. Founded in 1859, the company is headquartered in West Bend, WI, with manufacturing facilities in West Bend and Madison and Yankton, SD.
The Company markets its products under the Gehl and Mustang brand names.
For more information, call 262/334-9461 or visit www.gehl.com.