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April 01, 2004  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Blue Bird nears completion of plant renovations


FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird Corp. reports that it will complete a $12.6-million renovation of its three North American facilities in May. The renovations began last fall.

Blue Bird officials said the renovations will help to improve manufacturing processes, meet delivery schedules and provide flexibility while the company introduces new products designed to improve safety, comfort and performance. In Fort Valley, Blue Bird’s home plant, the focus will be on transit-style school buses, such as the All American FE and RE being built on a new state-of-the-art body line.

In La Fayette, Ga., the facility will focus on Blue Bird’s new VISION school bus. Meanwhile, the Brantford, Ontario, facility in Canada will concentrate on the VISION and SBCV/International products, along with the Micro Bird, Blue Bird’s small bus product line.

“These improvements will continue to keep Blue Bird on the cutting edge of technology and open the door for newer innovative products,” said Blue Bird CEO Jeff Bust. “Not only will this enable our workers to be more productive and provide a better environment to work, it will also ensure quality and on-time deliveries and be more cost effective.”

In addition to standardizing production processes, the renovations have introduced new features to the Blue Bird assembly line, such as just-in-time inventory, point-of-use storage, Andon lights, new paint booths, automated pull line production and waste elimination processes.

“The bottom line is that it helps us build a more consistent, safe and quality school bus,” Bust said. “It will also increase production, which means we’ll be adding around 350 to 400 jobs.”

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