In a ceremony on Wednesday, May 4, at the plant in Hagerstown, Md., where its powertrain components have been assembled since 1961, Mack Trucks Inc. paid tribute to the past, celebrated the present and cast a positive eye to the future. In 1959, looking for a modern alternative to its existing engine, transmission and carrier facility in Plainfield, N.J., Mack decided to invest $45 million in a new one-million-square-foot plant on 280 acres in Hagerstown. With construction complete, the first Mack engine rolled off the assembly line in 1961.
Mack says that as the company’s products have become more advanced over the years, so have the capabilities of the Hagerstown plant, thanks to continued investment and a commitment to excellence. Today, the facility is about 1.5 million square feet – the area of more than 30 football fields – with a high degree of robotics, automation and assembly controls helping ensure product quality. More than $300 million invested since 2001 alone has brought significant upgrades, like an engine development lab used to provide customers with increasingly cleaner and more fuel-efficient engines.
In addition, plant employees regularly meet in small groups on the plant floor, working together on the kaizen process of continuous improvement. “For half a century, the heart of every Mack truck has originated in Hagerstown,” says Kevin Flaherty, Mack senior vice president, U.S. and Canada. “We’ve always been an integrated manufacturer, with engines, transmissions and axles specifically designed to work together. Delivering on the Mack brand promise of reliability, durability and application excellence starts with the powertrain – and our hats are off to everyone in Hagerstown as they celebrate this milestone.”