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RV manufacturer Knaus Tabbert rolls out automated caravan production line

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Jandelsbrunn, Bavaria-based recreational vehicle manufacturer Knaus Tabbert GmbH today announced the completion of a restructured and newly automated production line at the company’s Tabbert caravan plant in the Hessian town of Mottgers in Germany. The 232 metre long and 115 metre wide production hall -- which took 15 months to complete and cost a staggering €6 million ($8 million USD) -- was officially opened by Wim de Pundert, owner of HTP Investments, and Wolfgang Speck, CEO of Knaus Tabbert GmbH.

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The old manufacturing process required that the individual production steps were cycled manually. In the new production hall, caravans are attached to a 230 metre long conveyor chain and move continuously -- through 23 separate production and quality steps -- at a rate of 25 and 50 centimetres per minute. According to the company, process flow cycle times are currently in the region of 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the complexity of the caravan being produced.

Knaus Tabbert also rationalised the pre-assembly of technical components and furniture parts and placed these processes parallel to the production line. The company has even incorporated a 90 degree bend in the production line so that caravans move past the cabinetmaking workshop and the storeroom, thus compressing the overall production process and reducing travel distances for employees. The result of these flow adjustments is a significant decrease in processing times coupled to a two-digit increase in employee productivity.

Improvements were also made to the company’s logistics and stock-keeping processes on the production line resulting in the application of a consumption-driven just-in-time inventory model directly at the assembly line, resulting in a significant reduction in the time necessary for a production line employee to access his materials.

Knaus Tabbert manufactures its premium Tabbert caravan brand at the Mottgers facility, including the Puccini, Vivaldi and da Vinci model series.

Additional Information: Knaus Tabbert GmbH, Helmut-Knaus-Str. 1, D-94118 Jandelsbrunn • Tel.: +49 (0) 8583 21 300 •

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