Manitou inaugurates Madison facility expansion along with 50th anniversary

The ribbon cutting event was attended by several top executives.
The ribbon cutting event was attended by several top executives.

Manitou Group recently celebrated the grand opening of its Madison, South Dakota expansion project which coincided with the company’s 50th anniversary of manufacturing skid-steer loaders.

The ribbon cutting event was attended by Jacqueline Himsworth, chair of the Board of Manitou Group, Michel Denis, President & CEO of Manitou Group and state/local Representatives such as; Casey Crabtree, South Dakota State Senator and Majority Leader and Head of Economic Development for Heartland Electric, Katherine Kirby, Business Development representative for the South Dakota Department of Economic Development and Roy Lindsay, Mayor of Madison, South Dakota.

“It is a very exciting time for Manitou Group as we celebrate the official opening of our new assembly building,” said Jeff Minnaert, plant manager at the Madison facility. “While this is not the end of the project, it is the largest portion that will give us the biggest impact on increasing our production to meet our future demands. In addition to the building, we are implementing a number of improvements that will continue to enhance our work environment and help Manitou Group be the employer of choice in Madison.”

The new expansion plan renovates and extends the existing 50-year-old building. The expansion consists of an enlarged assembly line, enabling all assembly processes to occur within the same building, promoting greater efficiency through proximity. The number of workstations has increased by 30% from the previous set-up, consisting of 19 now. They incorporate kitting and other lean concepts to optimize time and improve employee efficiency. Additionally, a new shipping centre of excellence has been established by repurposing one of the former assembly buildings. This enhancement enables the facility to handle shipments more effectively for the anticipated increase in production.

Franck Buisard, vice president of the Product Unit Compact and Articulated Loaders and MD of Manitou Equipment America, says: “We announced a massive investment in our South Dakota facilities 18 months ago. Now we have completed the expansion plan of our Madison facility and we will be able to start production utilising our new assembly line for our new skid and track loader range presented at Conexpo in March, 2023.

“It was a clear challenge for the team to be ready on time and I am proud of all the work they accomplished. We will now work on increasing the output of our production lines by more than 150% by 2026. Our next step will be the go-live of our Yankton, South Dakota facility expansion in mid-2024.

“This is the largest expansion project we have completed in the 50-year history in Madison. It has been a lot of work for all of the employees, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished and continue to be a part as the Madison team.”

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