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AC ROCHESTER FLINT WEST TO BUILD DIESEL CONVERTERS

 AC ROCHESTER FLINT WEST TO BUILD DIESEL CONVERTERS
 FLINT, Mich., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- As a result of a joint search


for new work, AC Rochester Flint West will produce catalytic converters for diesel trucks to meet 1994 emission standards.
 The announcement was made at Flint West today by Dwight W. Callaway, operations manager for the division's Exhaust Business Unit, and Michael Grimes, shop committee chairman for UAW Local 659.
 A $3.9 million tooling investment for initial stages of the diesel converter program has been approved. Much of the plant floor in Building 8 has been cleared and pilot production is under way. Building 8 had been unused since 1988.
 The program will mean a return to active work for an estimated 75 JOBS bank employees by the time full production begins in the summer of 1993.
 Production of diesel converters at Flint West recognizes the efforts of hourly and salaried employees who have worked for more than a year to bring the work to the complex, Grimes and Callaway noted.
 The joint sourcing committee worked with a combination of hourly and salaried plant workers, engineers, finance, marketing, and materials management employees, and UAW leaders to find the most efficient ways to produce the converters, they said.
 For example, the sourcing team found ways to reduce tooling and material costs, developed a quick die-change process, and scheduled operations to run on one, rather than two shifts.
 A team approach allows more flexible and efficient use of manpower and eliminates the need for some support personnel.
 The focus, Grimes and Callaway said, has been to reduce investment and operational costs in order to become competitive in the marketplace.
 The effort, on the part of all parties, was invested without assurance that work would be assigned to Flint West, although the division expects to have both GM and non-GM customers for its diesel converter.
 A flexible manufacturing system will permit quick changeovers to build a variety of converter types, an advantage in a new, still- developing market.
 Flint West will be able to fabricate converters using either metal or ceramic substrates, in a variety of sizes and shapes. Converters could also be combined with mufflers and piping in complete exhaust modules.
 AC Rochester engineers have been investigating emission controls for diesel engines for the last 10 years. They have concluded that the most practical approach combines improved diesel engines, low-sulfur fuels, and catalytic converters.
 Diesel catalytic converter field tests have covered nearly 3 million miles so far. One test involves Navistar and Unocal with AC Rochester in an engine/fuel/converter investigation. Five of AC Rochester's own over-the-road trucks also carry the new diesel converters.
 In addition, dynamometer testing for emissions control and durability has been conducted at AC Rochester, at the Southwest Research Institute in Texas, at private test labs, and at customer locations.
 AC Rochester is the world's largest volume producer of automotive catalytic converters, producing more than 114 million of the devices since GM introduced them for its 1975 model passenger cars and light trucks.
 The division produces converters for gasoline engines in Milwaukee; Southampton, England; Gennevilliers, France; Melbourne, Australia; and, in a joint venture with Daewoo Automotive Components, Ltd., in Taegu, South Korea.
 -0- 2/11/92
 /CONTACT: Dan Dolan of AC Rochester, 313-257-7720/
 (GM) CO: AC Rochester ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE006 -- 8682 02/11/92 09:41 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1992
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