Cushing, David N. (1988, ASQC) Chrysler Motors, Auburn Hills, MI
The goal of Chrysler's Liberty Manufacturing Group is to establish our manufacturing plan for the "Factory of the Future." This will cover all aspects: Manpower, Methods, Machinery and Material. It will assist in improving vehicle quality 60% and reducing the total car cost by $2500. This will be accomplished by establishing and implementing product design parameters for a "Process-Driven Design."
The automotive assembly process has remained fairly constant over the past few decades. A new vehicle started in the styling studios where the external shape and form was defined - first through sketches on paper and then as clay models. When the styling theme was approved, the stylists handed off their work to the engineers. The engineers added specifics and structure to the styling theme. This total design package was delivered to Purchasing to buy and Manufacturing to make. Rarely considered through the design process was the question of manufacturability. Was this the best way to put things together? Most often the answer was no, but it was now too late to change. So the manufacturing process was always a compromise. The system was time consuming, inefficient, and costly.
Chrysler's Liberty Group was formed to halt this sequential chain of events. Through an approach called "Simultaneous Engineering," specialists from all automotive disciplines have been brought together up front. This permits open discussions and free thinking to jointly analyze new designs and processes to deliver a quality vehicle at a cost effective price. With this defined, Engineering and Styling have boundaries specified and their output must conform to the guidelines. The end product will be a vehicle acceptable to all concerned - the stylists, engineers, manufacturers, and above all - the customer.
The paper reviews the background and the mechanics of Liberty's Simultaneous Engineering to obtain a Process-Driven Design. The approach is examined through utilizing current Liberty projects. The advantages - and disadvantages - are discussed relative to the project examples.