Continental Teves, a global automotive components manufacturer, needed a way to quickly remove dunnage and various forms of manufacturing waste materials at individual workstations in the brake system assembly area. At the time in their Asheville, NC facility, they were using forklifts, which was ineﬃcient and made the
work area congested and unsafe. Additionally, Continental Teves’ product line was expanding and space became limited.
The plant manager at Continental Teves asked several forklift dealers to help solve their problem. Pack Mule was then contacted by dealer Carolina Handling to help design a solution. After Pack Mule made a site visit to observe Continental Teves’ operation, a custom designed system was put in place. Pack Mule equipped the facility with a receptacle trailer concept, along with a custom sized compact trailer towable platform, which was easily refillable at workstations throughout the day.
Continental Teves was extremely satisfied with the material handling equipment designed for them by Pack Mule. As a result, they placed an order for two of the receptacle trailers, 20 customized compact trailers, and a Pack Mule electric tow vehicle.
Hyundai Motors announced its $1.7 billion assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama in 2002 and commenced production in May, 2005. In 2012, Hyundai added a third shift and moved to round-the-clock production to keep up with demand for Elantra and Sonata sedans. By 2013, the plant employed approximately 3,000 workers, and was attracting additional investment of $500 million by suppliers (who were also expected to hire 5,500 workers) to supply the plant with components on a “just-in-time” basis.
From the beginning, Hyundai and its sister company Kia Motors, as well as their web of suppliers, have been loyal Pack Mule customers. They have deployed a wide range of Pack Mule vehicles, including the SC-775 stock chaser style burden carrier, the SCT-7750 stand-up tow tractor, and the BC-620 sit down burden carrier. All of these vehicles are employed in the transport of materials within the manufacturing environment. The newest addition to their Pack Mule fleet will be the industrial battery version of Pack Mule’s SCT-7750, which Pack Mule developed at the request of Kia to take advantage of the high frequency industrial battery chargers that Kia had installed primarily for opportunity charging of its fleet of lift trucks. Soon, Kia recognized that opportunity charging would allow for charging during breaks and thus be a great way to keep their fleets of electric tow tractors running 24/7 to meet the exploding demand.
General Motors has been using Pack Mule® PMT-4500 electric tow tractors at its assembly plants in San Luis Potosi and Silao Mexico for over twelve years to deliver components from satellite supplier warehouses to the main production line at the center of the campus over a route of about ¼ mile. As of 2010, GM had several hundred of these units in service and by 2011 was again running three shifts.
About that time, GM installed high frequency charging stations in these facilities to allow for opportunity charging of their forklift fleet. Soon thereafter, they asked Pack Mule whether Pack Mule could offer an industrial battery version of the PMT-4500 tow tractor. This led to the cycle of innovation that resulted in creation of Pack Mule’s BCG-6200 tow tractor employing 36 volt industrial batteries that GM’s employees can opportunity charge during breaks to keep them running for the full three shifts. The result it that GM has been able to run its Pack Mule tow tractors for three full shifts per day without having to take out of service for charging, resulting in considerable capital and operating cost savings.