CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Kenworth Truck Co. broke ground April 24 to officially begin the start of construction on a state-of-the-art $140 million, 120,000 square-foot paint facility addition to its Class 8 truck assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Kenworth will construct the new, environmentally friendly facility, expected to open in 2021, adjacent to the current plant. The expansion represents a nearly 25% increase to the current 502,000 square-foot plant, which is located on a 120-acre site 50 miles south of Columbus, Ohio. The facility will utilize the latest technologies to increase paint capacity by 50%, while also enhancing the plant’s product quality, and award-winning environmental stewardship programs. Advanced technologies integrated into the new facility include state-of-the-art robotic paint application systems and the latest in emissions control systems.
The groundbreaking ceremony featured Harrie Schippers, PACCAR president and chief financial officer; Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president; and Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), as well as Judy McTigue, Kenworth assistant general manager of operations; and Rod Spencer, Kenworth Chillicothe plant manager. Federal, state, county and local officials from Ohio also participated in the groundbreaking.
“Our investment in this outstanding new facility highlights Kenworth’s focus on leveraging technology to continually enhance the quality of the products we provide our customers, while also reinforcing Kenworth’s commitment to the production of industry-leading Class 8 trucks by the more than 2,000 outstanding employees at our Chillicothe plant,” Dozier said.
Complementing the investment in the new Chillicothe paint facility, and scheduled for completion this summer, is the installation of a new $33 million robotic cab assembly cell. The cell will occupy 40,000 square feet on the existing production floor and will support the continued market share growth of Kenworth’s T680, T880, and W990 models.
Earlier this year, the Kenworth Chillicothe assembly plant received a 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award from the Manufacturing Leadership Council of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The award recognized the Chillicothe team’s development of innovative material handling systems that protect paint quality throughout the assembly process.
The plant also earned the 2018 Encouraging Environmental Excellence “E3” Gold Award from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The award recognizes businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in Ohio that demonstrate the commitment to exceed regulatory compliance and deliver exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship.
Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.