The Difference is Quality applies to all aspects of Stoughton manufacturing operations.
Stoughton is vertically integrated in that we design/develop/build (all in-house) not only the trailer but also the tooling and the processes to build the trailer. Incorporating this level of vertical integration allows for flexibility, rapid response time and superior control of parts and processing. It all leads to the highest level of quality control in the trailer industry. So, while other trailer manufacturers are buying assemblies from domestic or even offshore suppliers with little or no control over quality, we are building the highest quality trailer on the road today.
First-rate components do not, by themselves, assure a first-rate product. The processes, the tools, the people and the equipment each impact the excellence of Stoughton products. First class tools and equipment chosen for value, reliability and effectiveness, help control costs while performing their function in a repeatable and dependable manner. Since we recognize that the quality of the tooling affects the quality of each component, Stoughton maintains a comprehensive Tool & Die Department allowing the highest level of control over part fabrication in the trailer industry. The processes, the tools and the equipment are not static, but are under constant scrutiny and upgrading. The Difference is Quality applies to our workforce as well. Stoughton employees share a strong work ethic and are committed to utilizing lean manufacturing techniques. Stoughton employees are constantly trained to target continuous improvement opportunities to provide our customers with the highest level of quality. What separates Stoughton from competitors? It’s easy, The Difference is Quality applies to everything we do.
Fabrication and Welding
At Stoughton, we fabricate our subassemblies in-house, including rear door frames, slider rail sub-frames, upper couplers, and landing gear assemblies. In order to ensure tight tolerances and cost-effective customization, automated fabricating equipment is used to cut, shear, punch, and bend our parts allowing for consistent strength and performance. In addition to highly flexible machines like our Mitsubishi lasers and robotic weld arms, we’ve also built specially tailored automation systems for more complex challenges. Our automation doesn’t just help us to meet expectations; it helps us exceed them.
Exclusive Paint Protection
In order to keep Stoughton trailers looking good for years, all steel subassemblies go through our exclusive dual paint process that is recognized as the best in the industry. All subassemblies go through a cleaning station where they are grit blasted to remove any mill scale, weld residue and surface oxidation. Next a zinc rich prime coat is applied. Following the prime coat, the subassemblies go into a curing oven for thirty minutes. After this first round of curing and cooling is complete, the subassemblies are top coated with two-part polyurethane paint followed again by thirty minutes in the curing oven. The result is a durable, long-lasting finish that protects critical steel subassemblies from the rigors of over-the-road service. After painting, the subassemblies and component parts are delivered to the exact point of use, in the right order by a comprehensive computer directed power & free conveyor system.
Accountability is the key to a successful quality assurance program. This is why our suspension assembly lines utilize state-of-the-art equipment to assure axle end nut, wheel lug nut, pivot bolt and U-bolt torque are within control limits. These torque applications use digital machines that are programmed to control and monitor each step of the process. For example, wheel assemblies have the correct torque level for each wheel lug nut determined at the control station. The servo driven heads then simultaneously torque the fasteners to exacting torque specifications. In addition to applying torque to achieve correct clamping forces, our equipment digitally displays and records the torque values. The torque data for each assembly is uploaded through our computer network to become part of the permanent quality control record for each trailer. Suspensions have barcodes for automated identification as they move through assembly and testing. Computer operated ABS brake testing and computer controlled injection of axle hub lubricants are other examples of cost effective technical solutions.
The large heavy subassemblies which make up a semi trailer are moved and manipulated by custom built devices which allow the assembly crews to focus on quality, efficiency and continuous improvement rather than wrestling components suspended from a crane.
Our sidewalls are produced on custom in-house designed and built Sidewall Assembly Machines (SAM). Beginning with automation to precisely punch panels our SAMs locate, fasten and assemble the most accurate sidewalls in the industry. Automated Change Tooling allows the operators to select from a menu of wall designs and patterns. Roof bow, Crossmember and Side Post spacing are each independently set via the touch panel control.
Floor drill automation provides control and consistency while making floor installation cost effective and efficient.
Roof bays operate with automated in-house built equipment simultaneously punching holes and squeezing roof skin rivets on both sides of the trailer. This results in non-leaking roofs, which are taut and cosmetically pleasing.
Wheel/Axle alignment machines operated by exacting employees assure accurate, consistent and efficient alignments.
With continuous improvement of the processes, tools and equipment along with the commitment by the entire organization to continue to develop and train the workforce, Stoughton Trailers will continue to be the highest quality trailer on the road not only today but for years to come. The Difference is Quality.