Peterbilt Motors Co. has completed a large expansion of its truck factory in Denton, Texas, increasing the size of the plant by about a third.
Peterbilt said the expansion creates manufacturing efficiencies that will expand production capacity and save the heavy-duty truck manufacturer about $12 million annually. The company is a division of Bellevue, Wash.-based Paccar, which also owns the Kenworth truck brand.
Peterbilt declined to release the cost of the expansion.
“The expansion investment is the largest made by Peterbilt since the plant construction,” said Leon Handt, assistant general manager of operations at Peterbilt. “Growing the Denton plant’s footprint allows us to increase our manufacturing efficiency and positions us for future growth.”
The Denton Record Chronicle reported that Peterbilt received about $822,000 in economic development incentives from Denton through an eight-year tax abatement.
The expansion brings the footprint of the plant to 600,000 square feet. Peterbilt will move truck testing and validation to a new 102,000-square-foot building that contains a dynamometer capable of handling all truck configurations. The company also added two paint booths that double Denton’s touch-up capacity.
The expansion included a newly designed automated storage and retrieval system for painted parts. The system has enough capacity to hold 400 painted hoods, sleepers and cabs, which is the equivalent of one and a half days’ inventory of painted components. The computer-controlled system is integrated into the production process so that it can deliver the painted parts directly to the production line.
The opening of the test building and start of operations of the automated storage system ends a three-phase expansion project started in 2015, when new shipping and receiving docks were added to the factory.
The Denton plant was built in 1980.