On Sep 27th participants of Operations club got an opportunity to visit the Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Lafayette.
Background of the facility: The Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana was opened in 1982, and has since become the company’s main source for medium-speed diesel engines for marine, petroleum, electric power, locomotive and industrial applications. Producing Caterpillar’s most well-recognized and durable engines, the 3500 and 3600/C280 series engines, the plant consists of 1.3 million square feet (123,000 square meters). The plant serves global customers to power their CAT machines, provides prime and standby power and is used in marine and industrial applications. The current workforce is close to 3000 operating in 3 shifts. This plant is also popularly known as the Lafayette Engine Center.
The participants received a very warm welcome to the campus by the Caterpillar team. The initial presentation for the introduction of the campus was presented by Barna Bason. She mentioned that the total manufacturing space of this unit is 1327000 ft^2. The facility contains the engineering, assembly, test, paint and shipment of CAT Marine Engines- 3500, 3600, C280 lines. The unique nature of this plant is that it uses the Caterpillar Production system to increase assembly velocity and further robust testing.
The participants visited the following areas: Assembly, Engine block test and machining, crank shaft test process, robotic rod machining, crankshaft installation, piston and rod installation, smart tooling, robotic paint, final shipment, final inspection. The participants were curious to know about the best practices of the plant and the tour guides were happy to explain. By the time the tour ended, each of the participants had a lot of take away’s.