Corporate - 29/09/2021
At the heart of the ITR supply chain and together with ITR Meccanica, the Italian repair parts production plant, stand ITR Industries facilities. Manufacturing plants are located in South Korea producing chains, shoes, segments,track and carrier rollers as well as in China producing track and carrier rollers, idlers, and sprockets. This article will be focused on the Chinese manufacturing plants.
With a 54,000 m2 production site, of which 29,000 m2 are covered, the company benefits from a strategic location for reaching and supplying Modena Headquarters and the ITR companies around the world. It is located in the Chinese region of Shandong well-known for top-end manufacturing facilities in the field of the automotive and high precision electronics. General Motors®, Hyundai®, Apple®, and LG® are some of the top brands that have key-production sites located in the province.
Shandong is a well consolidated and constantly expanding manufacturing environment. In recent years, numerous investments have been made in the whole region in the field of environmental compliance, making it a state-of-art centre well-qualified with most of the recent and restrictive regulations. ITR Industries took advantage of the opportunity to modify the layout of various areas, implementing extensively the so-called “lean” approach to improve process management and waste reduction.
The foundry area was completely redesigned according to a flow approach with full automation of the mould handling process. The resulting new systems reduces emissions consistently and projects ITR Industries towards the challenge of the coming decades.
The Chinese company mainly produces undercarriage track and carrier rollers, sprockets, and idlers.
The Yantai-based plant is a crucial production centre for the USCO ITR Group, playing a key role in the ITR undercarriage supply chain.
The manufacture of the sprockets and idlers starts from the selection of raw materials. On-site casting furnaces ensure complete production self-sufficiency and guarantees accurate quality control. The factory also hosts several areas dedicated to CNC machining and heat treatments, while the assembly and painting lines are located at the end of the production lines. Recently, all these production areas have beenreorganised as part of the continuous improvement policy implemented by dedicated waste reduction teams. In particular, the new approach aims to minimise the so-called seven “Muda”, which are wastage resulting from waiting materials, transportation, overproduction, excess inventory, handling, defects, and “useless” phases in manufacturing process.
The track and carrier rollers are manufactured starting from forged steel. They are worked mechanically, and heat treated so to obtain the right wear resistance and strength characteristics. Recently, new investments were focused on the improving the heat treatment processes, the central part of ITR's knowledge, to ensure compliance with the increasingly severe standards for large size machines.
Extreme care is taken during the assembly stage, when cleanliness and repeatability are essential requirements. Before being assembled, all the components are individually washed and follow dedicated flow lines, differentiated by type and size. Each line is designed to optimise its individual operations, and all products are 100% tested in-line. This ensures the correct sealing and the accurate assembly procedure. Once assembled, the products proceed along two automated painting lines, followed by the palletising stations.
As a last step, ITR's quality standards require destructive and non-destructive tests. Among the most important are: ultrasound measurements, hardness tests, Magnaflux, IR, Charpy, and software simulations of heavy working conditions applied to finished components. Through various custom-made testing machines Shandong-based ITR Industries is able to replicate the heaviest operating conditions to test and develop new product for aftermarket and OEM applications.
Thanks to their high productivity and efficient management of the production process, the Chinese plant represents a centre of excellence for the ITR Group. A reference point for research and development characterised by its great push towards the future.
Keep following us to learn more about the ITR Industries plants located in Jinju in South Korea, another significant USCO ITR Group production centre dedicated to the undercarriage components.