Chrysler Presents 3-D Modeling Program to Cut Transmission Production Costs
Chrysler Group LLC is all set to present information on their 3-D modeling program at the CARS Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, which is starting today and will carry on till August 9th. The 3-D modeling works parallel with Chrysler’s World Class Manufacturing philosophy. Chrysler group will employ a new manufacturing process imbibing three dimensional techniques to make transmissions at its Indiana plant, with a purpose of cutting transmission production costs. 3-D modeling cut engineering costs in order to develop production methods for two different transmissions to be made at the company’s engine plant in Kokomo, Indiana, said Brian Harlow, head of Chrysler’s powertrain operations in North America and of global powertrain engineering.
The pre-production modeling system enables to visualize every aspect of a plant which includes people, parts and equipment and then virtually test their combined work. This was developed by Strategic Manufacturing Solutions, which is based on Auburn Hills, Michigan like Chrysler. Harlow pointed out that waste and worker injuries due to repetitive motion will be reduced once production begins later this year as an effect of pre-production 3-D modeling. He said cost saving will be “significant” without being specific though. Chrysler is spending around $1.3 billion to design rear-wheel drive eight-speed and front-wheel drive nine-speed transmissions at the Kokomo plant.
On Sunday during the Automotive Research industry conference, Harlow told reporters that as a result of the 3-D modeling, the engineering portion of those costs was cut to 3 percent from 4 percent. The 3-D imaging will be used in Chrysler’s other engine plants in the United States and Mexico. He added that by working with suppliers, Chrysler and SMS engineers can reproduce the production process in three dimensions a lot more effectively than with two-dimensional modeling. “We can address issues before they ever become a problem on the plant floor,” said Harlow. According to Harlow, Chrysler’s eight-speed transmission will go into production at Kokomo in the fourth quarter and the nine-speed transmission in early 2013.