Polar Corporation Enhances Manufacturing Services, and Hires 500 Employees to Respond to Increasing Demand for Tank Products

   

ST. CLOUD, Minn., April 22, 2011 — Polar Corp., a full-line tank-trailer manufacturing, parts, and service organization, announced initiatives to reduce production lead times and expand after-sale support for customers that transport fuel, chemicals, propane, food, and other products.

“Tank fleets are challenging their suppliers to help them be more competitive and efficient,” said Ted Fick, Polar chief executive officer. “Polar recognizes these challenges and has introduced manufacturing and service programs to give our customers a distinct advantage.” These initiatives include:

Manufacturing

Fick outlined specific steps to reduce lead times, provide customers with more detailed information about specifications and cost calculations, and provide price quotes that are less susceptible to fluctuations in materials costs. These measures include:

  • A third production shift at its Holdingford, Minn., and Springfield, Mo., plants.
    All told, the company has hired 500 employees in the past 9 months to
    respond to increasing demand for its products.
  • New precision manufacturing tools. This includes a new tube bender, laser
    cutter, and plasma cutter at Polar’s Opole, Minn., plant, and other state-of-theart
    fabrication equipment.
  • New software for 3D mechanical design and digital prototyping. This reduces
    the time and cost of product development and improves coordination between
    the customer, Polar engineers, and the factory floor.
  • Expanded manufacturing capabilities so each plant can produce a wider
    variety of trailer models and configurations. “This increases production
    flexibility and minimizes transportation costs associated with delivering the
    final vehicle,” Fick said.

Sales and Aftermarket Support

Polar Service Centers provide reliable access to trailer inventory, aftermarket
parts, field service, and qualified technicians who can work on any brand of
trailer. This commitment to sales and aftermarket support includes:

  • More locations. The company increased the number of Polar Service Center
    locations from 20 to 29 in 2010 and plans to add 15 to 25 locations within the
    next 24 months. In April 2011, the company is opening Polar Service Centers
    in Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, and Phoenix. Fick said additional new locations
    will focus on open markets where customers have requested that Polar
    establish a presence, and markets where Polar can complement the strengths
    of its independent distributors.
  • Access to rental trailers through Polar Service Centers, allowing customers to
    satisfy immediate operational needs until their new trailers are delivered.
    New electronic vehicle configuration resources that improve quoting accuracy,
    reduce order processing times, and help customers compare the cost, weight,
    and other characteristics of Polar products.
  • Electronic inventory tools that allow customers to see Polar equipment that’s
    available to lease, rent, or buy.
  • A significant investment in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to streamline
    the flow of information about costs, quality, product specification, and delivery
    among Polar, Polar Service Centers, customers, and suppliers. It provides
    more efficient, responsive electronic parts ordering and fulfillment services for
    dealers and independent distributors.

“Our sales, manufacturing, and aftermarket networks are tightly connected to
help us and our customers make better strategic decisions related to parts
availability, pricing, delivery status, and fleet cost-tracking,” Fick said.

Expanded Product Line

Polar’s acquisition of JARCO, a manufacturer of propane delivery trucks and
truck-mounted tanks for refined-fuel, allows the company to up-fit propane
bobtails through the Polar Service Center network. Polar can offer a consistently
built truck-mounted tank product to customers nationwide.

Operational Stability

In addition to capital investments, Polar secured new labor agreements with its
manufacturing employees.

“Instead of rationalizing capacity or manpower, Polar has been investing and
implementing new programs to help our customers prepare and grow their
business,” Fick said. “We’re able to immediately respond when customers need
equipment, parts, or service.”

Polar Corp. is a full-line tank-trailer manufacturing, parts, and service
organization, with a history reaching back to the 1940s. Having been an industry
leader for so many years, Polar has the experience and expertise necessary to
succeed in today’s demanding marketplace, as well as into the future.

Polar Corp. is comprised of three companies, all leaders in their respective
markets. Polar Tank Trailer manufactures tank trailers. Polar Service Centers
provide tank trailer parts, repair, and service. Quality Trailer Products is among
the nation’s premier manufacturers and distributors of light and heavy-duty trailer
components.

About Polar Corporation

Polar Corporation consists of three companies, all leaders in their respective
markets. Polar Tank Trailer manufactures tank trailers. Polar Service Centers
provide tank trailer parts, repair, services, and designs and builds custom 2,500
to 6,500 gallon upfits for the propane and pressure truck-mounted tank market.
Quality Trailer Products manufactures and sells parts and components for the
light-duty trailer industry.

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