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Mack Celebrates 50 Years of Powertrain Assembly in Hagerstown

Wed May 11, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

In a ceremony May 4 at the plant in Hagerstown, Md., where its powertrain components have been assembled since 1961, Mack Trucks Inc. paid tribute to the past, celebrated the present and cast a positive eye to the future.

In 1959, looking for a modern alternative to its existing engine, transmission and carrier facility in Plainfield, N.J., Mack decided to invest $45 million in a new one million sq. ft. plant on 280 acres in Hagerstown. With construction complete, the first Mack engine rolled off the assembly line in 1961.

As the company’s products have become more advanced over the years, so have the capabilities of the Hagerstown plant, due to continued investment and a commitment. Today, the facility is approximately 1.5 million sq. ft. — the area of more than 30 football fields — with a high degree of robotics, automation and assembly controls helping ensure product quality.

More than $300 million invested since 2001 alone has brought significant upgrades, like an engine development lab used to provide customers with increasingly fuel-efficient engines.

Employees regularly meet in small groups on the plant floor, working together on continuous improvement. The process is called kaizen, but what really matters are the results — competitive products built in the United States, according to the company.

“For half a century, the heart of every Mack truck has originated in Hagerstown,” said Kevin Flaherty, Mack senior vice president, United States and Canada. “We’ve always been an integrated manufacturer, with engines, transmissions and axles specifically designed to work together. Delivering on the Mack brand promise of reliability, durability and application excellence starts with the powertrain — and our hats are off to everyone in Hagerstown as they celebrate this milestone.”

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