Tognum, the parent company of MTU, acquired the 100 acre Graniteville site in the spring
of 2010 and began engine assembly by mid-October of the same year. Much of the manu-
facturing equipment and machinery was moved from the previous Redford, Mich., facility
to South Carolina.
job number one running. And I said,
make it the 13th, it’s my birthday. They
actually made it a couple of days
before that, but I was still pleased they
achieved the birthday wish.”
Assembly of Series 2000 engines in
Michigan was halted in April of 2010,
while the Series 4000 engine line
finished at the end of July. “Actually,
staging it that way, we had the oppor-
tunity to learn from the first line to the
second,” said Matthias Vogel, presi-
dent and CEO of MTU Detroit Diesel.
“From what we learned, we were able
to move the second line faster.
“In order to save costs, we took every-
thing we could — the hoist systems, the
material racks, the turnover stations —
everything we could move went onto
trucks and came down here.”
Even beyond the dizzying logisti-
cal challenge of shifting the complete
assembly systems for two large engines
more than 820 miles, there were sev-
eral additional challenges, greatest of
which was making sure no business
was compromised along the way.
“In hindsight, it was basically the only
time when such a move was feasible,”
said Dohle. “We had moved some of
the engines to Friedrichshafen at the
end of 2009. Because the economy
was slow, between the engines we
made in Friedrichshafen and the inven-
tory we had built up in Detroit, not a
single engine was lost to a customer.
Putting Flexibility To The Test
Expandable engine test capabil-
ity positions new MTU facility for
When installing something as
complex — and expensive — as
engine production test cells, one of
the most challenging issues comes
down to scale. Do you build enough
cells to suit your current and near-term business or do you roll the
dice and install the test capacity you
might someday need on the basis of
longer-term business growth?
For its newest MTU engine plant in
Graniteville, S.C., it’s fair to say that
Tognum, working with test facility integration specialist ACS, was actually
able to accomplish both.
At the plant’s initial opening late last
year, two test cells were operating and
a third is expected to go online within
the next year. But very deliberately the
test facility, which encompasses a sep-
MTU’s new Graniteville S.C., plant incorporates an expandable, highly flexible test cell
facility developed by the company and test
cells specialist ACS. The facility can do production hot testing of MTU’s Series 2000 and
4000 engines, as well as future engines.
108 DIESEL PROGRESS NORTH AMERICAN EDITION June 2011