Ram 1500 production increases as Chrysler redesigns assembly line at Warren Truck Plant

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 29, 2014

Chrysler Group’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant will produce around 100 more Ram 1500s each production day -- 28,565 per year -- to cater to demand. The output surge required several updates like automation modifications in the body shop as well as to improvements to color booths in the paint shop and assembly line.

Chrysler has also developed a process it calls Workplace Integration, in which best practices were assessed and processes were verified on every at each workstation. The process takes place while following the guidelines of Chrysler’s World Class Manufacturing methodology, which aims to cut waste, hike productivity and better quality and safety.

Changes included the moving of nearly 300 parts for better ergonomics for workers. The updates also include redesign of around 353 workstations --- based on nearly 7,000 suggestions submitted by workforce.

Plant manager Curt Towne remarked that the change in the Warren site were not management-driven, but workforce-driven. Chrysler commenced implementing the changes in late 2013 and continued it through the site’s summer shutdown in August.

Once output went online again, Chrysler had the new system implemented. The Warren Truck Assembly Plant boasts of a 3,800-strong workforce working four 10-hour days on two shifts six days a week.

Over 1,000 of these workers were assigned on the assembly floor, which has just four robots. The Warren Truck Assembly Plant built 291,554 units in 2013. It takes around 25 hours to build each truck. Towne remarked that the site improved productivity by eliminating manufacturing waste.

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