Kenworth’s Chillicothe and Renton Plants Combine for Three NAM Manufacturing Leadership Awards

Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio and Renton, Washington assembly plants received a total of three prestigious 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Awards in the Engineering & Production Technology category. The awards were announced today by the Manufacturing Leadership Council of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

“Our employees are dedicated to continually enhance quality and productivity with the goal of providing The World’s Best trucks to our customers. These three prestigious NAM Manufacturing Leadership awards for operational excellence are a tribute to the efforts of our Kenworth Chillicothe and Kenworth Renton employees,” said Chris Davis, Kenworth assistant general manager for operations.

The Kenworth Chillicothe plant was honored with Manufacturing Leadership Awards for its new Kenworth Paint Facility and Henrob Error Proofing project.

The Kenworth Chillicothe team successfully launched the world class paint facility into production in June 2021. Engineering for the 120,000 square-foot paint facility began in 2016, followed by the start of building construction in 2018. The state-of-the-art paint facility utilizes the latest paint technologies to increase capacity, enhance efficiency, reduce waste, and improve first pass quality.

“The Kenworth Paint Facility was a major undertaking and a tremendous success. Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing engineering and quality teams also are focused on driving continuous improvement programs that provide enhanced truck quality for fleets and truck operators,” said Doug VanZuiden, Kenworth Chillicothe plant manager.

Kenworth Chillicothe’s second Manufacturing Leadership Award exemplifies that continued drive to further increase quality through development of an error-proof cartridge system for Henrob self-piercing fasteners in the robotic cab and sleeper assembly cell. This cell uses seven different rivet styles, across five different assembly stations, to mechanically fasten cab components together. The error-proof cartridge system prevents the possibility of the wrong rivets loaded to the tools.

The Kenworth Renton plant earned a Manufacturing Leadership Award for its Electrostatic Paint Gun in the Touch Up Facility. Engineers engaged with the paint operation to understand specific needs and researched electrostatic paint gun capabilities.

The project team worked with vendors to select and configure a paint gun to achieve and exceed performance goals for paint usage, time savings, and first-time quality. The paint gun was fine-tuned to perform well with the paints utilized at the plant. The electrostatic paint gun reduced paint usage by 75 percent, paint time of parts by up to 50 percent, and improved color matching when spraying metallic paints.

“This award-winning project was an excellent example of our teams recognizing a need and working together to provide a solution with advanced technology to improve efficiency and quality in our operations.” said Darrin Child, Kenworth Renton plant manager.

Kenworth’s plants in Chillicothe, Ohio, and Renton, Wash., both have earned the prestigious International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001:2015 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build Class 8 trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner. Kenworth’s medium duty products are produced at the PACCAR Ste. Thérèse, Quebec, manufacturing facility, which also holds ISO 14001:2015 status.

About the National Association of Manufacturers

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. The NAM is a powerful voice in the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information visit


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