The FCA US Mack Avenue Engine and Toledo Machining Plants have been awarded bronze status for their efforts in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM). They become the 18th and 19th North American facilities to reach the milestone award and bring to six the number of plants that have been designated bronze in 2016.
In reaching bronze status, the Detroit-based engine plant and suburban Toledo component plant earned a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars following two-day independent audits held during the week of Sept. 19. Through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects implemented across the shop floor, the plants demonstrated clear WCM know-how and competence. The designation recognizes the long-term dedication of the workforce to making significant changes that can secure the future of a facility.
“The road to bronze for both of these facilities has had its challenges, but their tireless effort and resilient commitment to WCM has now been recognized and duly rewarded,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. “Using the WCM methodology, our employees are suggesting process improvements to help eliminate waste, increase productivity and improve quality and safety, which are ultimately making our facilities more efficient.
“The involvement of our UAW partners in the implementation of WCM has been critical to the success we have achieved since 2009,” said Harlow. “Their continued commitment will ensure that the Company meets its long-term business goals and provides a secure future for all employees.”
WCM, first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, is a methodology that engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Plants awarded for their efforts also have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.
During an audit, zero to five points are awarded for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. A score of 85 would indicate World Class.
Of the 19 plants that have achieved bronze, three have gone on to be awarded silver – Windsor Assembly Plant (Ont.) in March 2014, Dundee Engine Plant (Mich.) in May 2015 and Toledo Assembly Complex in May 2016. In addition to Mack Avenue and Toledo Machining, the 14 other facilities that currently hold the WCM bronze designation are:
— Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (Mexico)
— Saltillo South Engine Plant (Mexico)
— Trenton Engine Complex (Mich.)
— Warren Stamping Plant (Mich.)
— Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Ind.)
— Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.)
— Kokomo Casting Plant (Ind.)
— Toluca Assembly Plant (Mexico)
— Sterling Stamping Plant (Sterling Heights, Mich.)
— Brampton Assembly Plant (Ontario, Canada)
— Tipton Transmission Plant (Ind.)
— Belvidere Assembly Plant (Ill.)
— Saltillo Van (Mexico)
— Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Ind.)
About Mack Avenue Engine Plant
The 1.4 million-square-foot plant was purchased in 1953 by Chrysler Corporation and converted to a stamping plant in 1974. In 1992, Mack was the production home of the Dodge Viper, which moved to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (Detroit) in 1995. Mack Engine began producing engines in 1998. In November 2012, the Company announced that it would invest $198 million and add up to 250 new jobs at the plant to produce the award-winning Pentastar (V-6) engine. After building more than 3 million engines in 15 years, production of the 4.7-liter V-8 engine ended on April 4, 2013. Nearly 750 employees currently build three versions of the award-winning Pentastar engine – the 3.0-liter, 3.2-liter and 3.6-liter.
About Toledo Machining Plant
Toledo Machining has been supporting the Company’s transmission and assembly operations for 50 years, having started production in 1966. Since 2011, the Company has invested nearly $100 million in Toledo Machining for the production of steering columns and torque converters for the eight- and nine-speed transmissions. The plant also manufactures torque converters for the four- and six-speed transmissions. Found in a variety of Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram and Dodge products, Toledo Machining ships its components to transmission and assembly plants in North America, Venezuela and China. More than 1,000 people work at the plant.
About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands, as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.
FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”
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