MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Hyundai officials say the company has invested $7 million into an Alabama plant that manufactures two of its most popular vehicles.
The investment isn't intended to increase the facility's production capacity, but it expected to increase the plant's efficiency, Scott Hudson, process engineering manager at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, told the Montgomery Advertiser.
The plant manufactures the automaker's Elantra and Sonata models, and has broken its monthly production records three times in 2013.
The company now uses robots in to deliver kits full of parts to the facility's assembly line workers to decrease the time it takes to put the cars together.
Workers in the plant once had to walk to a bin and choose parts that were made for the car they were assembling. Then, they had to walk back to the assembly line to put the parts into place.
"If you're dealing with a (part) that is not immediately apparent, you're reading spec sheets trying to choose the right one," Hudson said.
The robotic process cuts the likelihood of mistakes and helps employees better use their time. No employees were laid off when the robotic process began in the plant, but some were reassigned to help fill the kits, the facility's spokesman, Robert Burns, said.
The plant began assembling 2014 Sonatas in October and officials say the facility is expected to begin producing 2014 Elantras this week.