FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2002
The annual MasterCraft Boat Company holiday shutdown offered a remarkable opportunity to upgrade and streamline the boat building process by reorganizing production flow. After more than three months of conferences involving company production supervisors and managers, staff spent the shut-down period completely remodeling the lamination and assembly buildings to significantly improve the manufacturing process flow from start to finish. Approximately 60 employees, averaging 10-12 hours per day, were involved in relocating worktables, materials, and installing new equipment. Over 150,000 square feet of equipment was rearranged inside the 276,000-square-foot facility. ''Months before we started moving equipment around we made changes to the facilities in virtual reality,'' said Ron Flammang, Process Engineering Manager. ''We physically measured every work space and piece of machinery, and then laid out the new floor plans utilizing CAD drawings.''
Major changes in the lamination building included the addition of a new barrier-coat booth, the removal of the existing grinding booth and the addition of a state-of-the-art grinding booth. New spray-core and resin wet-out equipment was also purchased and installed. These changes will increase capacity and improve flow through the building. In the assembly building, the stock room, the receiving and quality assurance areas, the tool crib, the upholstery department, small parts fabrication, and rigging and final finish production lines were all streamlined for greater efficiency.
The largest addition to MasterCraft's assembly building included the installation of a new 3,740-square-foot mezzanine. The new mezzanine was pre-fabricated and delivered on two tractor-trailer trucks from Pennsylvania. The additional space allowed MasterCraft to improve production and process flow in the upholstery and small parts fabrication area by relocating the company's new CNC router and upholstery cutter machines. ''We literally moved every piece of equipment in the assembly building, with the exception of the trailer shop,'' said Terry Bell, Vice President of Operations. ''It has been a big undertaking, but the payback will be significant.'' Process Engineering also took advantage of the plant remodeling to introduce new lean manufacturing principles in the facility. This resulted in the availability of space for a new third production line in the assembly building, as well as increased production capacity by 20% on the existing production lines. The new set-up gives MasterCraft more flexibility to react to future marketplace demands. Following shutdown, the entire staff returned to the revised facility and resumed a regular production schedule. ''Our employees have been anticipating the manufacturing changes and are pleased that we have improved their working environment,'' said Greg Stanley, Human Resource Director. ''We're all committed to building the best inboard and luxury V-Drive boats in the world.''
MasterCraft is the world's largest producer of inboard and V-drive water ski, wakeboard and luxury performance powerboats. Located in Vonore, Tennessee, tours of our 300,000-square-foot facility are not just available to the press, they are encouraged. For more information, model specifications, high- and low-res digital images or 35mm running and detail shots, please contact Casey Quilter at 800-443-8774, ext. 205. Or, visit our website at http://www.mastercraft.com