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Volvo Trucks in Tuve takes next step to be the factory of the future – one year ahead of schedule

In the midst of the ongoing recession, Volvo Trucks has been preparing for a forthcoming market upswing. The aim is quality-driven production with a firm focus on more intelligent working methods and continuous improvement.
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Over the past five years, Volvo Trucks has invested billions of kronor in the development of its global production system to ensure increased flexibility and efficiency. In Sweden the factories in both Umeå and Tuve have been remodelled in accordance with Volvo Trucks’ strategy for how all the company’s factories are to be designed for efficient production. 

“In order to thoroughly prepare for the forthcoming economic upswing we are all expecting, we have speeded up our work on improving the production process,” says Staffan Jufors, CEO and President of Volvo Trucks. “With the Tuve facility now also taking this step, we have a production system that is highly competitive in the global perspective.”
The current restructure in Tuve includes the installation of what is known as a driven production line. Linked to this is an entirely new working method for materials supply. The investment also includes a new surface treatment process and the installation of a new test facility for completed trucks. When the investment is fully implemented, the factory in Tuve will have two driven production lines. One has already been in operation since September and the other will be installed during the first quarter of 2010.

“Now Tuve is following the same production system as Volvo Trucks’ other factories,” says Johan Jinhage, factory manager in Tuve. “This means, for instance, better logistics, continuous production flow and a more coordinated global working method that helps ensure our already very high quality.” 

Increased energy efficiency is another aim of the investment. Already today, for example, the new surface treatment process has brought about a 30 percent saving in energy thanks to a new system for heat recovery. 

Another goal is to improve working conditions for the individual emplyees through the adoption of a better system for ensuring materials and equipment are at the right place when needed.

“Ergonomics is a high-priority area. Our experience from our other factories shows that corresponding investments there have brought about a more ergonomically suitable working environment and less stress,” says Johan Jinhage.

He also believes that participation and involvement among the employees is an important means of ensuring success in the work that is currently being done in Tuve. 

“With our common goal of continuous improvement allowing us to constantly ensure that whatever we do, we do even better in every respect, we are steadily improving our competitiveness and securing our future as a truck manufacturer,” says Johan Jinhage.

December 9, 2009

For further information, please contact:
Jenny Björsne, tel +46 31 664523, e-mail
jenny.bjorsne@volvo.com
Johan Jinhage, tel +46 31 3222303, e-mail johan.jinhage@volvo.com

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