DMAX LTD. Diesel Engine Plant

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Requiring approximately two years to design and build, the DMAX Ltd. diesel engine production plant in Moraine, Ohio - a joint venture between General Motors Corporation and Isuzu Motors Ltd. - involved a unique blend of two distinct cultures. GM had generally employed conveyor assembly lines, for instance, while Isuzu tended toward automatic guided vehicles in its assembly systems. The development of the DMAX facility thus required Kahn engineers and designers to carefully study and compare the competing standards to arrive at an optimally efficient and cost-effective design.

The plant's exterior consists of not much more than straightforward lines, with few ornamental details. But from a production standpoint, this simple yet flexible rectangle confers a built-in design resiliency, with a clean and continuous approach that enables a wide range of operational support options. Designed to accommodate an initial annual production of 100,000 diesel truck engines, the facility's basic shape readily accommodated a subsequent doubling of output within its original four walls, eliminating the need to add to its original footprint and requiring minimal interior reconfiguration beyond the maneuvering of certain storage capacities and locations.

Despite its simplicity, the facility offers a number of innovative and cost-effective features and solutions, including an overhead roof drainage system, process equipment enclosures, collection systems that reduce the transmission of oil mist into occupied areas, engine hot test audit enclosures, and engine quality audit test cells.

Delivered under an aggressive time frame as well as a strict budget, the $50 million, 650,000 square foot facility (not including an outside warehouse, and approximately 50,000 additional square feet of adjacent administrative office space) has been producing advanced turbo diesel GM truck engines since the early 2000s.

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