AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – During the announcement of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring production at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant this week, the company highlighted its expanded Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS), which allows for the manufacture of multiple products on one assembly line.
Both the Sterling Heights Assembly and Stamping Plants were retooled in March 2006 to accommodate the multiple manufacturing strategy. The changes included approximately 620 new welding and material-handling robots, bringing the total to 784 in the Body Shop area. When the production line needs to accommodate a new car model, only the robots’ end effectors, or “hands,” need to be changed in order to accommodate the next project.
The robot tool change is done automatically, within the time it takes to cycle from one vehicle to the next.
The FMS is currently being implemented product across all Chrysler Group plants in conjunction with the UAW.