Inside Ireland's Lean, Green Forklift Plant

March 16, 2022
The verdant Irish countryside between Dublin and Belfast hides a brand new forklift factory expertly crafted to double production with lean operations and a mastery over efficient use of space.

In April, I journeyed to Ireland to cover the opening of Combilift's new 500,000-ft2 manufacturing facility, where they design and produce mass-customized material handling equipment.

I wasn't familiar with the company until an invite hit my inbox, but the tour revealed this to be a true gem of lean manufacturing hidden here in the Emerald Isle's northern foothills. From its green initiatives to its efficient use of space and laser focus on R&D, this plant highlights how to stay modern without the use of robots or IIoT.

You can check out what makes its material handling solutions so valuable to manufacturers and distribution centers in my feature story, or just click the slideshow to take a virtual tour of the County Monaghan factory.

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor, Fleet Maintenance

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine where he served honorably aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723).


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