June 22, 2012 1:30 PM
And that's only within the first six months of its opening back in
Almost immediately after the FIAT-Chrysler partnership began, we
started to implement FIAT's World Class Manufacturing process in
our operations. While it's a continual process to keep improving
manufacturing quality, WCM has already borne a bountiful
The World Class Manufacturing Academy is just the latest example.
WCM Academy is where our plant managers, team leaders and other
plant employees are trained in WCM. It's a 25,000-sq.-ft.
facillity, housed within the UAW-Chrysler Technology Training
Center, Warren, Mich., and can train 1,200 people annually.
"The financial results of the home plant projects have made the
Academy an excellent business case," said Head of WCM Mauro
Pino. “By year end, we expect the savings to grow to nearly
One concrete example of the WCMA's success is a new process started
by Tracey Aber from our Indiana Transmission Plant (ITP) in Kokomo,
Ind. Aber attended the Academy’s Seven Steps of Micro
Stoppages course. Micro-stoppages are small equipment breakdowns
that can cause major losses in time and money. The course, using a
slot car track as an educational tool (example above),
teaches participants to see that there might be more to a breakdown
than what is obvious to the naked eye and apply to a disciplined
process to find the root cause of a problem.
After taking the course at the Academy, Aber returned to his home
plant and engaged his team to use the methodology he learned to
identify the true root cause of the hidden phenomenon that was
causing pallets along the line to impact each other and stop the
line about 15 times per day.
By analyzing the issue using WCM tools, the ITP team implemented
two countermeasures that dampened the impact of the pallets and
eliminated the re-coil effect, resulting in the machine having zero
micro-stops for three months.
"The human element is at the center of WCM. Our success depends on
the involvement of our workers, who work in teams," Pino
See a January 2012 blog post for more on our World Class Manufacturing Academy opening. In
May 2011, we looked at the early results of WCM.