The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) stamping plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, was recently awarded bronze status for its efforts to improve in world-class manufacturing (WCM).

The stamping plant, which celebrated 50 years of production in 2015, earned the bronze designation after a two-day audit during which it demonstrated WCM know-how and competency through employee-conducted presentations and a review of projects that have been implemented across the shop floor.

Sterling Stamping, which is the largest stamping plant in the world, becomes the 12th North American facility to receive this designation.

"Being awarded bronze after 50 years of service and in the middle of a significant expansion is a remarkable achievement," said Brian Harlow, vice president of manufacturing for FCA North America. "As the industry returns to pre-recession volumes, WCM has been a key factor in driving efficiencies throughout our operations, which have allowed us to meet that demand."

World-class manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on eliminating waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. It engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership.

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, as well as 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 85 would indicate world class.

In addition to Sterling Stamping, nine other facilities currently hold the WCM bronze designation.

The Sterling plant provides stampings and assemblies, including hoods, roofs, liftgates, side apertures, fenders and floorpans for Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles. The plant employs nearly 2,300 people.

For more information, visit www.fcanorthamerica.com.