International Truck and Engine Corporation announced on March 3 that it is preparing its International Diesel of Alabama plant in Huntsville, Ala., for the launch of its new International VT 275 V-6 diesel engine. The engine will be used in the new International CF Series trucks.
International Diesel of Alabama incorporates lean manufacturing processes and technologically-advanced equipment to build its engines.
For the launch of the new International VT 275 engine this fall, the nearly 700,000-sq.-ft. plant, which International bought from Onan Corporation in 1999, will use integrated quality assurance testing, improved work station ergonomics, automated operations and inventory strategies.
The Huntsville, Ala., plant was designed with a model mix in mind – whereas the Indianapolis Engine Plant produces a high volume of the same engine. Since production began in 2001, the plant has built 13 different engine models, all variations of one V-8 engine platform.
A total of 20 different Integrated Quality Assurance (IQA) stations throughout the plant automatically verify product specifications during the assembly process, rather than waiting until the engine is completely built. Quality and build data are electronically captured by serial number via radio frequency (RF) tags located on the engine assembly pallet. The IQA stations keep engines with deviations from reaching the end of the line, identifying inconsistencies during the assembly process so they can be corrected.
To create a more streamlined and efficient process, 79 of the plant’s assembly operations have been automated, further decreasing the opportunity for error. As an engine travels through the build process, crankshafts, camshafts, connecting rods, and cylinder heads are automatically installed.