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Windsor grabs Silver quality level

by David Zatz on

The Windsor Assembly Plant, maker of all Chrysler minivans, achieved World Class Manufacturing (WCM) silver status, the highest ranking of any Chrysler facility.  The silver award was made just four years after adopting the WCM system.

“Together with our Unifor [union] partners, the Windsor plant is showing its commitment to making our manufacturing facilities among the best in the world,” said Mauro Pino, Chrysler Head of Manufacturing/WCM.

World Class Manufacturing is a method that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety, engaging the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants. It is similar in many ways to other quality systems, and to pre-Daimler Chrysler initiatives; its roots can be traced back to the first half of the 20th century.

WCM was implemented by Fiat in 2006, and introduced to Chrysler in June 2009; Chrysler claims to have saved over $1 billion as a result.

During an audit, zero to five points are awarded for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. A score of 100 would indicate World Class.

Two WCM certified auditors from Fiat performed the audits.  Windsor earned the first WCM award level,  bronze, in April 2012. Three other facilities currently hold bronze status – Dundee Engine, Toledo Assembly, and Saltillo Truck Assembly.

The Windsor Assembly Plant, built in 1928 and expanded and upgraded numerous times since, runs three shifts with nearly 4,700 employees. It was the first plant to build minivans, in 1983.

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