Advanced Metrology Technology Drives Jeep Plant Quality
The all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is built at the new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant, the city’s first new manufacturing facility in three decades. Stellantis invested $1.6 billion to build an 800,000-square-foot paint shop and convert the two original Mack Avenue engine plants into an entirely new assembly site. The investment also added 3,850 new jobs to support production of the first ever three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as the new two-row version and future electrified models.
A recent Newsweek article stated “Supporting that critical mission are the over 4,900 workers at Mack. Focusing on the customer means crafting an empowered workforce that personally felt responsible for the quality of the product that was on the line. Because the plant and most of its staff were new to the company, Jeep’s team has the opportunity to create culture, not just seek to modify it. They want employees to take ownership in the vehicles rolling off the line and have pride in them. “It was an opportunity to set a new precedent,” said Mario Holmes, model responsible, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, “This is their car.”
This triggered a fundamental change in the approach to the manufacturing process. The company pulled experienced workers from other plants and put them in charge. They hired a workforce that has been slowly completing the on-boarding and training process. First shift was started last summer and second and third shifts began work in March and April, respectively.
Mack Plant staff encourage their workers to not allow anything that isn’t perfect to pass. As a reminder of that commitment, signs hang at nearly every station on the plant floor reading “Build no defect. Accept no defect. Ship no defect.”
Advanced metrology technology plays a critical role at the new plant in verifying the quality of incoming parts to the assembly operation and monitoring the quality of the vehicle build process.
In-Line Body in White Inspection
In the 26 robot integrated in-line ‘Net Form and Pierce’ cell in the body shop Perceptron robot mounted laser scanning sensors measure the gaps on the Jeep Grand Cherokee L vehicle body to ensure a perfect fit for the doors, hood, liftgate and fenders.
Near-line Laser Radar Body in White Inspection
Off-line from the main assembly line robot mounted Nikon Metrology Laser Radar units are mounted on a duplex robot system to measure hundreds of preprogrammed surface and alignment points to verify the build process. The 45-minute validation test is performed on a select number of vehicles across all three production shifts and complements the inline measurement system that measures every Jeep Grand Cherokee L coming through the body shop.
Build Simulation and Incoming Components Inspection
Leica Laser Tracker integrated with laser scanning sensor, from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, is used to simulate projected vehicle build quality in the plant inspection lab along with the inspection of incoming components from external suppliers to the assembly plant.
Machine Vision Oversees Windshield Adhesive Application
In-line sealant bead application to windshields is monitored by a Coherix Predator3D autonomous machine vision solution that inspects bead height, width, volume and position.
For more information: www.stellantis.com