Katerra Ramps Up Automated Component Plant in CA

Originally published by: LespromDecember 19, 2019

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At 577,000 square feet, Katerra’s Tracy factory is an advanced manufacturing facility with automated wood frame wall, floor, and roof truss lines, robotics-enabled cabinet, finish and window lines, and cold-formed steel production.

Katerra's automated production line

“We have invested significantly in developing proprietary automation technologies for our Tracy factory,” said Matt Ryan, head of manufacturing for Katerra. “Tracy features 30 fixed robots, 12 mobile robots, and a digital manufacturing process using Self-Guided Vehicle technology. It is a step-change from our Phoenix factory, accelerating Katerra’s production of high-quality building components manufactured to precision.”

The construction of the facility is mostly complete, with activity now focused on finishing the R&D lab, office space, and showroom. Katerra is beginning the operation of the production lines in stages, the company is already shipping products from its window, cabinet, roof truss, and floor truss lines. The company has also begun construction of a rail spur, which will be completed in early 2020.

Katerra has hired nearly 200 full-time employees to date. By the end of 2020, the company expects to reach full production with three shifts and more than 500 employees. At full capacity, the factory will be able to produce, on an annual basis, the equivalent of 12,500 multifamily units.