It takes a lot of trust to commit well over $100 million to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to supply the needs of just one customer, especially without any written contracts. But that is exactly what German manufacturer Brüggen Oberflächen und Systemlieferant did when it spent 75 million to build and equip its new refrigerated trailer manufacturing plant in Lübtheen.
The 403,650-sq ft plant specializes in manufacturing the new Cool Liner Duoplex steel refrigerated trailer and its derivative, the new Fresh Liner Duoplex steel insulated trailer, for Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone of Germany, Europe's second-largest trailer manufacturer.
The Cool Liner trailer, tailored to the rigorous requirements of temperature-controlled transportation, has continuous steel panels and a reinforced, watertight, single-sheet alloy, foam-topped floor assembly to ensure maximum insulation. It features a continuous chassis that absorbs the forces incurred during docking and coupling and uncoupling to better protect the superstructure.
Based upon the Cool Liner, the Fresh Liner insulated trailer features impact-resistant sandwich panels, high insulation capacity, and optimum durability.
Highlights of the new manufacturing facility include a massive e-coat line that provides corrosion protection for the steel chassis on which the vans ride, an automated conveyor system throughout the plant, and custom fixtures that ensure maximum accuracy and efficiency of assembled products.
The manufacturing partnership is co-dependent and mutually beneficial. Brüggen shouldered the cost of building and operating the massive plant.
Krone handles virtually everything else associated with trailer manufacturing, other than actually building the trailers. The company designs the trailers, handles all marketing and distribution, and provides all customer service functions.
Krone also brought manufacturing engineering expertise, helping Brüggen implement much of the same production technology that Krone uses in its own facilities.
The new plant was built with specific criteria in mind, and was planned for modern process flow, with minimal material movement and fast box production.
The facility could be considered two plants under one roof: one for box production, and the other for producing steel chassis. Yet the two production areas, each with material flowing in the same direction, meet seamlessly at the end of the building where the two assemblies are bolted together into a single product.