How Duct Tape and Cardboard Improved 9-Pace Transmission Manufacturing

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Scissors, duct tape and cardboard. These three assets, mixed with a GoPro digital digicam, helped staff at Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI) develop an answer to enhance the effectivity of nine-speed transmission manufacturing.

Earlier than we inform you extra concerning the “duct, paper, scissors” transfer, let’s clarify a bit about transmission manufacturing.

Gears are a significant part in transmissions, multiplying and transmitting rotational pressure from the engine to the wheels.

The machining course of for making gears is hobbing. Hobbing exactly cuts “tooth” into spherical items of steel, referred to as blanks, to create the gear. A robotic is a essential participant within the manufacturing course of, putting the clean into the hobbing machine and eradicating the completed gear as soon as the reducing course of is full.

The problem at ITPI: the hobbing robotic would expertise micro-stoppages, or mini breakdowns, when shifting a completed gear to the following meeting station. The micro-stoppages had been traced to steel chips spraying onto the robotic’s gripping machine through the gear hobbing.

The micro-stoppages required fixed upkeep, which meant stopping the road to repair the robotic, including as much as misplaced manufacturing time. And time is cash.

That is the place the scissors, duct tape and cardboard are available in.

A small staff of staff – Gary Bragg, Doug Carter, Dave Eckenboy and Merlin Fights – got down to enhance the hobbing workstation, utilizing their mixed expertise as operators and expert tradesmen. They used the three objects to manufacture a prototype defend for the gripping machine. The borrowed GoPro digicam allow them to research the steel chip spray through the hobbing course of, serving to decide the most effective dimension, form and site for the defend. The Firm’s working system, World Class Manufacturing, motivates staff to supply and implement recommendations to enhance high quality and security of their amenities.

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After a number of prototypes and checks, the workers advisable a brand new path for the robotic and elevated airflow to assist direct the steel chips right into a collector. The trail, mixed with altered settings on the hobbing machine, decreased down time and allowed ITPI to extend manufacturing of nine-speed transmissions. Even higher, the answer is increasing to the opposite 18 hobbing stations throughout the plant.

“Everybody had a job within the success of this answer,” mentioned senior manufacturing supervisor Michael Carter. “The plant has numerous delight on this staff who labored autonomously via the entire course of. Now different staff are motivated to make progress on their very own tasks.”

This is only one instance of how World Class Manufacturing evokes FCA staff to make use of their information, the instruments at hand and their creativity to repeatedly enhance our processes, making a major influence with minimal expense.


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