Production starts at state-of-the-art Komatsu plant
By Chris Sleight30 May 2014
Komatsu has started assembly of equipment at a new state-of-the-art facility in Ishikawa, Japan. The new Awazu plant replaces two 40-year old buildings and has a total area of 31,900 m2.
The facility has started to manufacture small & medium wheeled loaders and graders. Production of small and medium tracked excavators, along with small dozers is due to start in July. Komatsu said it invested JPY 7.8 billion (US$ 77 million) in the facility, which forms part of the 710,000 m2 site where the company employs some 3,000 people.
Komatsu said the plant is designed to have half the electricity consumption that the equivalent production facilities had in 2010 through the consolidation of the two old buildings and various energy saving features. In addition, there are biomass and solar generation facilities on site which are due to go into operation in December. Komatsu says this should help it reduce the amount of energy it purchases by -90%, compared to 2010.
The company also said that the production floor sits above a pit structure which contains all cabling and piping, allowing a completely flat floor. In addition, the span between internal pillars is as much as 32 m in places, allowing for a flexible production space.
Komatsu added that the application of new IT systems and the automation of inspection procedures should mean the new plant is twice as productive per m2 of floor space than the old facilities.