SOURCE: Caster Concepts, Inc.

Caster Concepts, Inc.

September 15, 2009 13:00 ET

KIA Chooses Caster Concepts as Partner: Provides Safe Working Environment at New Georgia Facility

ALBION, MI--(Marketwire - September 15, 2009) - Walk through KIA Motors' new automobile manufacturing plant in West Point, GA, and you'll see miles of conveyors and hundreds of robots. KIA invested heavily in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to maximize efficiency when it begins producing the 2011 Sorrento later this year. Look closer to the floor, and you'll see one of the most valuable investments KIA made to ensure employee safety: the casters it chose from Caster Concepts, Inc. for the carts that deliver parts to the assembly line in a fork-free environment.

KIA chose Caster Concepts, Inc. as the key supplier of industrial casters for its new facility after 8 months of rigorous testing. That's because Caster Concepts has a proven track record in Forklift-Free Environments like the one in Georgia, where lift truck traffic is kept to a minimum to reduce incidents and injuries. In place of lift trucks, parts, components and materials are loaded onto carts that are automatically pulled by tuggers or manually pulled by operators to the line.

While eliminating lift trucks creates a safer work environment, back and shoulder injuries caused by excessive push/pull forces to move carts loaded with parts can have a dramatic impact on a company's productivity and profitability. Team member injuries can result in days away from work, doctor visits and rehabilitation costs.

KIA had a firm understanding of these "hidden" costs and put the casters through their paces. Side by side push/pull testing of a variety of casters showed that Caster Concepts product required 25% less force to move loaded carts than the alternatives. That allows KIA team members to more easily maneuver loaded carts manually and when towed in trains throughout the plant. They were not the cheapest option, but KIA determined that Caster Concepts delivered the best return on investment overall.

With the assistance of Motion Industries, Caster Concepts worked closely with KIA's safety engineers and its network of Tier 1 suppliers to ensure the proper casters were selected for each application. "KIA was determined to find the casters that would provide the best ergonomic results while meeting the durability requirements needed for their just-in-time delivery system," said Caster Concepts Regional Sales Manager John Turner. "KIA's focus on ergonomics and safety show they want to provide the safest environment for their employees while building great, quality vehicles."

Several of KIA's Tier 1 suppliers have also chosen Caster Concepts as their parts will be sequenced and shipped to the KIA plant on carts ready to be delivered to the appropriate part of the manufacturing process.

Caster Concepts, Inc. is an ISO 9001-2000 certified designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive line of industrial casters, ranging from medium-duty series to heavy-duty series to meet any application. CCI also manufactures caster wheels to withstand impact, corrosion, temperature extremes and chemicals found in harsh industrial environments. The multi-functional casters and wheels serve a variety of applications in the industrial, automotive, food service, aerospace, material handling and other demanding markets. Learn more about the entire family of Caster Concepts companies -- Reaction Industries, LLC, The Machine Center, Fabricating Concepts, LLC, and Triple E Manufacturing, by visiting the most comprehensive website in the caster industry at www.casterconcepts.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Dr. William Dobbins
    President & CEO
    Caster Concepts, Inc.
    517-629-8838

    Media contact:
    Alyson Kallmeyer
    Marketing Programs Manager
    Hilty Moore & Associates, Inc.
    440-424-4709 Ext. 202