The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) casting plant in Etobicoke, Ontario, was recently awarded bronze status for its efforts in implementing world-class manufacturing (WCM). The plant becomes the 23rd North American facility to reach the milestone award level and the first to be awarded in 2019.
World-class manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on eliminating waste and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. It engages the workforce to provide and apply suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership. WCM was first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009.
The 77-year-old Etobicoke casting plant earned bronze after receiving a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars following a two-day independent audit. The plant demonstrated clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted presentations and a review of projects implemented across the shop floor. The bronze designation recognizes the long-term commitment of the workforce to making changes that can secure the future of a facility.
"Reaching bronze is a significant accomplishment that confirms the Etobicoke workforce’s understanding and commitment to the WCM methodology," said Carlo Materazzo, head of world-class manufacturing. "Their dedication to implementing WCM best practices has improved the plant’s operations and the products they deliver to their customers. I want to thank all of the Etobicoke employees for embracing WCM as a way of life."
During a WCM audit, zero to five points are awarded for each of 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, as well as for 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. Bronze is awarded to plants that earn 50 or more points, followed by a silver designation if a score is achieved between 60-70 points. Plants that reach gold must score between 70-85 points, while world class is awarded for 85 points or more.
Ten North American plants currently hold a silver designation, having been elevated from bronze after receiving a minimum of 60 points during an audit. In addition to Etobicoke Casting, 12 other facilities hold the WCM bronze designation.
Originally built in 1942 by the Canadian government to support the World War II effort, the Etobicoke plant began operations as Alcan Aluminum to produce sand and permanent molds for military aircraft applications. Twenty-two years later, it was acquired by Chrysler.
Nearly 300 people work over three shifts at the 285,000-square-foot plant, producing aluminum die castings for a variety of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles that are assembled at plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
For more information, visit www.fcanorthamerica.com.