Simulated Manufacturing Work Environment Opened At UAW-GM Center For Human Resources

Training center aims to improve plant quality, safety and productivity

The UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (CHR) has officially opened its Simulated Work Environment (SWE) facility at the CHR on June 2, 2006 in Detroit, Mich.

The SWE simulates manufacturing plant processes and provides hands-on training. Participants come from UAW-represented GM locations throughout the United States and go through a one-day training in "natural work groups." For example, a plant level group of UAW and GM leaders attend the training together in order to maximize learning opportunities.

The training directly supports the UAW-GM Quality Network and the GM Global Manufacturing System. The training improves plant quality, safety, productivity and more.

"This unique Simulated Work Environment expands our capabilities to provide training on quality manufacturing systems and a myriad of Quality Network technical training opportunities that are as close to in-plant experience as possible," said Tom Walsh, UAW Assistant Director and Co-Director, Quality Network.

"The SWE's presence here at the CHR, along with the existing high-bay health and safety area, and the robotic cell manufacturing area, greatly enhances this jointly run, work-based educational center that is unmatched in the auto industry," said Walsh.

"The SWE facility supports people, teamwork and continuous improvement," said Dorothy Hennessy, GM Director and Co-Director, UAW-GM Quality Network. "As a result, it will contribute to the turnaround and success of General Motors."

The 4,073 square foot SWE is designed as a closed-loop conveyor system with 16 active work stations, plus one material-delivery operator. One of the 17 team members becomes the group leader. Through expert facilitation, participants assemble a product -- a wooden car. Participants learn through the team process, and follow standardized work and job element sheets, and identify team dynamics and manufacturing process problems.

To date, more than 1,300 people have participated in the training. It is anticipated that the facility will provide over 5,000 additional training hours during 2006.

More in Labor