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CUSTOMIZED TRAINING FOR PRODUCTION OF CHRYSLER'S ALL-NEW 1994 DODGE RAM

 AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Customized training is the key to an efficient production launch for employees working on Chrysler Corporation's (NYSE: C) first all-new full-size pickup truck in 22 years at the Dodge City Complex, which includes the Warren (Mich.) Truck Assembly and Warren Stamping plants.
 "The introduction of new products requires that the critical skills of our seasoned employees be upgraded through intensive training," said Roy Smith, Warren Truck Plant manager. "And as part of the company's Continuous Improvement Program, those improved skills will allow us to repeatedly build world-class products efficiently."
 Over 1,200 employees at Warren Truck Assembly Plant will have logged 177,000 hours of training prior to the production launch of the all-new Dodge Ram truck scheduled for the week of July 19.
 Pre-production training for several hundred plant employees initially started in November 1991 during the pilot build of the new Dodge Ram at Chrysler Technology Center (CTC) Pilot Operations in Auburn Hills, and Jeep/Truck Engineering in Detroit.
 Smith said the number of employees building pilots at CTC doubled from 60 to 120.
 "And once several of the pilot vehicles were built, they were shipped back to the plant and placed in the Trim, Chassis and Final Line areas for additional employee training," said Smith.
 Another customized method of training was an extensive orientation and an ongoing 80-hour Train-the-Trainer program at CTC that was designed to train the plant's technicians, which extends from inspectors to repairmen.
 Plant employees spend 40 percent of their time in workshops and 60 percent in the classroom. After a four-hour overview, each received classes consisting of a 20-hour electrical technology update, 16-hour vehicle electrical wiring session, 16-hour fuel (pump, flow, etc.) update, eight-hour chassis, eight-hour brakes, and eight-hour climate control/heating/ and air conditioning briefing. Upon completion and certification, employees returned to the plant and started training other employees in the Trim, Chassis and Final Line areas.
 Though Warren Truck is currently down because of model changeover, employees are receiving training in Statistical Process Control and team building techniques. Suppliers will train employees how to operate and service plant equipment.
 Employees will continue to receive training during the production launch of the vehicle.
 Chrysler invested more than $125 million to facilitize Warren Truck for the production of the new Dodge Ram pickup. The plant will also continue to produce the Dodge Dakota. The plant has the manufacturing flexibility to divide its production mix to 80 percent of the full-size Dodge Ram and 20 percent of the mid-size Dodge Dakota or vice versa.
 The plant has about 3,400 hourly and salaried employees.
 At Warren Stamping, which is adjacent to Warren Truck, over 300 hourly and salaried employees will participate in a customized training program that, according to Plant Manager Craig Corrington, will "foster teamwork and a comprehensive understanding of the factors that will determine the success" of the plant's stampings for full-size Dodge Rams.
 Warren Stamping will supply doors, hoods, fenders and box sides for the 1994 Dodge Ram pickups that will roll off the final line in late July at Warren Truck Assembly Plant.
 The training for tool and die makers, welder repair, quality assurance, material control and production personnel will cover such areas as Statistical Process Control, Continuous Improvement Process Run-to-Run Concepts, Racking/Packing, Part Function and Cultural Development.
 The first phase of the training, a five-day course on Cultural Development, was conducted off-site in classroom sessions that provided mid-level management and hourly employees with an introduction to team building skills, economic and technological change forces, and the need for change.
 "To support an effective production launch of the vehicle, we feel that traditional methods of management and work ethics must be improved," said Corrington. "So the first course enables our employees to start the change toward empowerment."
 Much of the training will be done in a traditional classroom setting and continue with hands-on situations on the plant floor.
 The plant has special, non-traditional die sets, so "Run-to-Run Concept" training was developed to ensure that employees understand the production requirements and the need for quick die changes. Other training sessions include a "Danly Overview", which enables employees to gain a thorough operational knowledge of the plant's new Danly presses that will stamp out doors, hoods, fenders, etc. for the Dodge Ram, and "Adhesive Process Control", which allows employees to understand how to operate the plant's adhesive system.
 Training in "Continuous Improvement Process" (CIP) carries a high priority in the Dodge Ram program. Employees must know how to measure and evaluate as part of their daily routine items that lead to continuous improvement of the process to produce world-class parts.
 "CIP training reinforces the need for evaluating the process and comparing it to the best in class," said Corrington.
 When training is complete for the Dodge Ram in late 1993, Warren Stamping employees will have logged over 45,600 hours. The plant has 2,700 hourly and salaried employees.
 -0- 6/28/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Miller, 313-576-8093, or Chris Hosford, 313-576-8094, both of Chrysler/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

DD -- DE014 -- 6320 06/28/93 14:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 28, 1993
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