Chrysler Group LLC has increased capacity at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant to meet growing demand for the Ram 1500.
The Auburn Hills-based automaker increased production by 100 vehicles a day, or more than 28,585 additional vehicles a year. Chrysler upped capacity by using new ideas and incremental investments to refine its production processes at more than 350 plant work stations — from automation changes in the body shop to improvements to its paint shop. The changes were implemented from the end of 2013 through the summer shutdown in August.
Chrysler attributes the new processes to hourly employees submitting thousands of suggestions as part of the automaker’s “World Class Manufacturing” initiative that was introduced by Fiat when it took control of Chrysler in June 2009.
Through WCM, which aims to reduce waste and increase quality, efficiency and safety, the new processes streamline jobs by improving workplace ergonomics. One simple example was creating “kits” of related parts that allow operators to focus on assembly.
“There was a lot of work done here by the workforce,” said Curt Towne, plant manager, during a media event Thursday morning to discuss changes to the plant. “This isn’t something that was management-driven. This is something that was driven from the floor.”