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MML Students Tour Bobcat's Gwinner Plant

Posted: Dec 12, 2007

Students from NDSU's Master of Military Logistics (MML) program, toured the Bobcat Company production plant in Gwinner, ND, Friday, Nov. 16.

Students toured the production line of three style/size loaders witnessing one ton rolls of raw steel being transformed into bumpers, roll cages, and frames. Student observing the enthusiasm and team work of assembly line workers. Depending on production forecasts, bobcat assembly lines produce 140-170 units a day in just the loader line.

Logistic students also were exposed to Bobcat's receiving procedures, planning and forecasting cells, and dispatching procedures. Bobcat has its own truck fleet for inter-plant transfers transport to the intermodal freight site, but relies mostly on third party logistics for movement of goods.

"It's very important for us Army Logisticians to see how civilian logisticians think and work," says David Kelly, a U.S. Army captain and student in the MML program. "We can definitely learn from each other." The students in the military logistics program have a wide variety of military logistics experience and the MML program is designed to augment that experience with exposure to civilian practices and new theories and practices in transportation and logistics.

"The field trip was a great experience. We were able to see the process from raw material delivery to dealer-ready product. That process requires detailed logistics management along with well-managed lean techniques," says Jeff Carlson, another student, also an Army captain.

Bobcat employs more than 1,200 in its Gwinner plant. "Bobcat is a huge supporter of the community and Gwinner is a great supporter of Bobcat," notes Dean Atkinson, Bobcat logistics manager.

The company produces a variety of track and tire equipment which can be used for agriculture purposes, buildings and grounds maintenance, construction, industry and mining, landscaping. Bobcat equipment includes loaders, attachments, excavators, utility products, VersaHandler® telescopic tool carriers, and light construction equipment including compressors, generators, plate compactors, and upright rammers. Bobcat markets more than 300,000 units annually in the United States and Canada, Europe, Africa, Central and South America, the Asian Pacific and Australia.

The MML program is part of the interdisciplinary Transportation & Logistics Program offered by the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. The program is sponsored and coordinated by the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.

Published in NDSU's staff newsletter
It's Happening at State
Dec. 12, 2007

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