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Broderson Expands Production Capability and Responsiveness

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Broderson’s industrial carry deck and down cab rough terrain cranes are famous for their simplicity, reliability, durability and precise operating controls.  Broderson’s main headquarters facility in Lenexa KS is well organized and long recognized for its efficiency, quality, and production consistency.   However, the Lenexa factory is landlocked by adjacent businesses with no room to expand its existing production footprint.  As a result, Broderson was challenged for many years to respond to upswings in customer demand and delivery requirements.  Broderson dealers were forced to deal with extended lead times and small mobile crane end users were sometimes forced to settle for something less than a “Brodie”.
Broderson’s acquisition in July of 2013 by the Lanco Group changed all that.  Over the last year and half, significant investment has been made to enable Broderson to respond rapidly to business upswings and meet dealer and end user demand for Broderson’s market-leading product line of industrial and down cab rough terrain cranes.  Broderson cranes have a well earned reputation for rugged reliability, simple design, high quality, pick and carry capability, outstanding residual value and precision controls.  Broderson end users consistently report earning high return on their investment in Broderson cranes and Broderson doesn’t want customers to miss business opportunities because of extended delivery schedules.  With the improvements made to Broderson’s production capabilities, Broderson dealers and end users can count on quicker turn around and faster, more consistent delivery lead times.
The expansion of Broderson’s production capabilities was a team effort and thoughtfully done.  The objectives of the project were to increase delivery capacity, improve quality, and shorten cycle times without adding significant additional fixed costs to Broderson’s business model.  The mobile crane market is a cyclic business.  As a veteran manufacturer, Broderson recognizes that maintaining flexibility to operate profitably at all points in the mobile crane business cycle is strategically critical. At the same time, Broderson dealers and end users expect their fleet values and Broderson equipment investment to not be eroded by over production during a down cycle. Finding a solution that meets all business objectives was the key requirement for the project.

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There were two elements to Broderson’s approach to improving responsiveness while minimizing fixed cost increases.  The first element was to utilize existing Lanco Group production facilities at MiJack Products in Hazel Crest Illinois and Greenfield Products in Union City Tennessee.  From a manufacturing perspective, these facilities produce compatible products to Broderson components.  Equipment and facilities investment at MiJack and Greenfield permits sharing and reallocation of production capacity throughout mobile crane market cycles.  The second element was to maintain a responsible balance of in-house manufacturing to supplier sourced components.  Broderson worked with existing supplier partners to reduce purchased material choke points and increase component supply flexibility.
At the Greenfield Products facility, assembly efficiency and production capacity was improved by implementing a progressing assembly line for the IC250 (18 ton) and IC400 (25 ton) industrial carry deck cranes and the RT300 down cab rough terrain crane (15 ton).  A rigorous first article inspection/test program, incorporating a thorough review of drawings and part bills of material, coupled with an intense training and development of detailed work instruction documentation raised quality levels at all three Broderson production locations; Lenexa, Hazel Crest and Greenfield.  Process improvements in scheduling, material control and inventory management streamlined production related logistics and parts delivery. 

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The Greenfield Products facility added 17,000 square feet to its paint prep and paint area and extended its plate burning and weld fabrication area by another 36,000 square feet.  These facility expansions created room to establish the new progressing assembly line for IC250, IC400 and RT300 production (IC35, IC40, IC80 and IC200 models are assembled at the BMC Lenexa Facility)  The investment at Greenfield Products also included new plate burning equipment, weld positioners, a large machining center and new training and office facilities.  The MiJack Hazel Crest facility in turn added new boom fabrication equipment and created a new boom assembly and boom test bay.  All of these improvements were accomplished on a very tight schedule with employees from Lenexa, Hazel Crest and Greenfield working hand in hand. Broderson remains laser focused on the 2.5 to 25 ton industrial carry deck crane and down cab rough terrain crane market.  Working with sister companies and benefiting from the investment provided by the Lanco Group is helping Broderson serve its dealers and end customers even better.

 

 

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