"GEMA represents a whole new business model for engine develop-ment -- one that leverages the combined capabilities of its partners and economies of scale in order to generate breakthrough improve-ment," said LaSorda. "These four-cylinder engines will provide excep-tional performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and refinement. In short, the World Engine is the right product at the right time."
World's Largest Engine Operation
The two Dundee plants are part of a five-factory global venture building a family of 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines jointly developed by DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Cor-poration. When all five plants are fully operational, the combined project will be the largest engine manufacturing operation in the world. Annual production will reach 1.8 million units, including production sites in Asan and Hwasung, South Korea, and Shiga, Japan.
"This project will allow DaimlerChrysler to realize annual savings of $100 million and attain a leading position in the market for the world's best four-cylinder engines," said Dr. Rüdiger Grube, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member responsible for Corporate Development and Northeast Asia Operations. "The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance enables us to fully benefit from our strategic partnerships and achieve maximum economies of scale."
Manufacturing Efficiencies Pay for Premium Engine Features
GEMA President Bruce Coventry credits the alliance's practice of focusing exclusively on its core business as a key element in GEMA's efficient operation.
"Our expertise and value to the customer is in the designing, high-precision machining and assembling of engine blocks, cranks and heads," Coventry aid. "Virtually all other support operations are provided by our Integrated Service Providers, or ISPs - experts in each of their respective areas."
The ISPs use their refined and proven business practices to provide GEMA with efficient operations at a cost savings. For example, the company responsible for the design and construction of the plant now provides building maintenance. Tool set-up and consigned inventory is managed by a company who specializes in tooling. These are only two of 45 examples of how GEMA is leveraging expertise for maximum efficiencies.
The significant savings achieved in design, purchasing and manufacturing is going back into the product itself in the form of technology and refinement. Features such as variable valve timing, high-pressure die-cast aluminum engine block, forged-steel crankshaft and select-fit pistons, tappets and bearings are not typically found nor expected in entry-level, four-cylinder vehicles.
Innovative Work Scheduling
An innovative work schedule increases plant productivity but still gives employees more family time. Three crews work four 10-hour straight-time shifts per week. A typical production schedule provides 80 hours per week of production time, while the GEMA schedule provides 120 hours of production time in one week. Compared to a traditional plant schedule, individual employees work 49 fewer days per year, but the plant operates 49 more days.
Every United Auto Workers-represented employee at GEMA has at least a two-year technical degree, a skilled-trades journeyman's card or five years of computerized numerical control (CNC) experience, making GEMA one of the most skilled manufacturing workforces in North America.
A rigorous training program with more than1,500 hours of orientation and training has yielded a highly qualified and dedicated workforce. The employee teams are adopting the latest practices of lean production and quality control. Employee absenteeism is under two percent, well below the industry average.
Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance Joint Venture
The World Engine was co-developed under a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors for the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance.
While Hyundai had the lead design responsibility for the base engine, the Chrysler Group and Mitsubishi made significant engineering contributions to the design. Through the involvement of all three automakers, durability testing for the World Engine exceeded 16 million customer equivalent miles. Additionally, partners have shared best practices and lessons learned from past and current experiences, resulting in improved refinement, quality and durability.
Chrysler Group engineering led the development of key technologies that will give its customers high-value benefits in cost-efficient engines. These technologies include intake manifold control valves, Dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT), both launching in the U.S. first in Chrysler Group versions of the World Engine.
By optimizing the partners' strengths, global economies of scale and the latest practices in flexible teams and machines, GEMA aims to set a new benchmark in engine plant productivity.
(Oct 03, 2005)