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An inside look at Caterpillar's West Fargo 'Reman' plant

Caterpillar gave WDAY a look inside their operation, right here in the metro.

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Caterpillar employees work to disassemble the components that link engines to wheels, on their large scale mining trucks.
Morris, Ben
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WEST FARGO — At West Fargo's Cat 'Reman' Plant, workers "re-manufacture" parts like 35,000-pound final drives, which hold the back tires on the company's monstrous off-highway mining trucks.

Some of these parts may come into the shop in rough condition, but they come out looking good as new.

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"We take the components that link the engine to the wheels, and we bring them back here to West Fargo and we rebuild them. We make them like new, and we ship them out to our customers," said Paul Olsen, Caterpillar's operation's facility manager.

"It really, really helps them with their owning and operating costs," he said.

It will also keep a lot of the massive parts that go into their equipment out of the landfill.

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But turning components from rundown to good as new is no easy process.

Workers first disassemble the parts and pass them along to the next station, where employees determine what can be reused and what cannot.

And last, but not least, CAT reassembles the components and stores them until a customer buys them.

It's a constant cycle, to recycle.

"We see the core come through the door, and we flip it and we make this beautiful machine that goes out and gets installed in these mines, works a whole lifetime, and then we get to actually see it again in a few years, too. So after it lives its life cycle, we just kind of get to start all over again," said Paul Carter, Caterpillar's manufacturing engineer.

These parts and components don't just come from and stay here in the U.S. They come from across the globe and are sent out everywhere.

And even though this machine of a company — 250 employees in West Fargo alone — cranks through products, they, like nearly everywhere, are still in need of help.

"We've got opportunities for about 30 additional employees right now. Disassembly techs, assembly techs, inspectors, material handlers," said Olsen.

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"It's a great culture here. You can expect a start up meeting, and then we roll into our work efforts throughout the day. And from final drives to assembly to tear down, you know, it could be a multitude of tasks," said Ryan Lewis, an operations manager at Caterpillar.

The operation now pays between $17 and $26 per hour, based on experience.

Related Topics: SMALL BUSINESSWEST FARGO
Ben Morris joined WDAY in June of 2021 as a news reporter. He grew up in southern New Hampshire, before he moved to Fargo. He majored in media communications and minored in marketing at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
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