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Trenton Engine wins the bronze

by David Zatz on

Chrysler’s Trenton Engine Complex, in a pleasant area just a half-hour southwest of Detroit,  has won bronze status for World Class Manufacturing (WCM), the fifth North American facility to achieve the first WCM award milestone.

It took around four years to reach bronze status; during that time, Trenton North was thoroughly rebuilt and recommissioned to build plants and assemble engines. Trenton South was built specifically to assemble the Pentastar V6; North, built in 1952, was idled in 2011 but then rebuilt and put back into operation.

World Class Manufacturing, which shares quite a bit in common with the old pre-Daimler Chrysler system, focuses on reducing waste while increasing productivity, quality, and safety, using the workforce as a source of innovation. It was first implemented by Fiat in 2006, and was introduced to Chrysler Group in June 2009. Chrysler claims to have saved over $1 billion through WCM, so far.

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 commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, and motivation of operators. The top score is 100; for bronze, the minimum is 50.  Currently, the top Chrysler plant in WCM is Windsor Assembly (Ontario; minivans), at silver; other bronze plants are in Toledo, Ohio, Saltillo, Mexico, and Dundee, Michigan.

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