Ram Redesigns Assembly Line to Increase Production Capacity by 28,500
UAW-Led Team Helped Advise Line Changes
Sales of the Ram 1500 have been hot lately, with Chrysler Group claiming an otherworldly 52-month sales increase streak, in spite of tightening emissions regulations, rising fuel costs, and a global economy that is only just now showing signs of recovery.
It’s with good reason, then, that the company has decided to redesign the assembly line at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which will now be able to build 100 more Ram Trucks each day. Taking into account work holidays and planned idle times, this means that Chrysler Group will be producing 28,500 more Ram 1500s each year. To put that number into perspective, less than 16,000 Nissan Titans were sold in 2013, total.
What makes the redesign of the assembly line so interesting is that UAW-represented team leaders and operators recommended many of the changes. They identified and corrected more than 100 issues that could cause injury and moved parts and supplies around to help with plant ergonomics.
For example, in the plant’s Motorhouse, where three different engines are built, there are dozens of parts that look and feel the same, but are actually distinct. To error-proof the operation, these parts are now sorted into kits specific to each engine. As an additional bonus, using these kits means less legwork for the plant workers, who no longer have to walk as far to collect parts. “That’s time that could be spent building a truck,” said Curt Towne, manager of the Warren plant. “Plus, at the end of a 10-hour day, they’re not as tired as they once were.”
The Warren Truck Assembly Plant has been building trucks since 1938, with total production of more than 13 million. With the new improvements to the assembly plant, that number is only going to continue climbing.
Source: Chrysler Group