Chrysler Group LLC’s Indiana Transmission Plant II (ITPII) has been awarded bronze status for its results in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM). The Kokomo, Ind., transmission plant becomes Chrysler Group’s first transmission plant and the sixth North American facility to achieve the WCM award milestone.
ITPII, which produces the five-speed transmission for various models in the Chrysler Group portfolio, received the bronze designation just over four years after adopting the WCM operating system following a two-day audit Oct. 27-28, 2014. Bronze is awarded after earning a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars by demonstrating clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects that have been expanded across the shop floor. ITPII earned a score of 50.
World Class Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants. WCM was first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009. Since that time, the Company has saved more than $1 billion in controllable manufacturing costs as a result of the implementation of WCM.
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.
In addition to ITPII, four other facilities currently hold bronze awards - Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio), Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (Mex.), Dundee Engine Plant (Mich.) and Trenton Engine Complex (Mich.). The Windsor Assembly Plant (Ont.), which earned its bronze designation in 2012, was awarded silver in March 2014, making it the Chrysler Group’s highest ranking plant in North America.
Construction of ITPII began in 2002 and launched production in November 2003. Together with its sister plant, Indiana Transmission Plant I, the complex employs more than 2,500.