Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ford River Rouge and GM Hamtramck Assembly

Ford River Rouge and GM Hamtramck Assembly

Today we visited two assembly plants.  First, we visited the historic Ford River Rouge plant in Dearborn, MI.  Henry Ford developed the Rouge to be totally self-sufficient in the process to build automobiles. They brought in all the raw materials to produce the materials needed for automobile production. The Rouge now makes the Ford 150 pickup truck.  They assemble one truck per minute throughout two work shifts each day.  Videos provided the history of the Rouge, and all the steps in the process to manufacture cars.  We saw the final stages as the parts are assembled, and the cars rolling off the assembly line.

At GM Hamtramck, we saw the Malibu and Impala being assembled.  We toured the shop floor, being able to walk next to the assembly line, seeing how the parts are pieced together to create a car.  GM Hamtramck assembles the Chevrolet Volt. Today was the last day of production of the first generation Volt, and we saw that car on the shop floor.  The second generation Volt will start production soon.  Thanks to Jamie Chatel, Hamtramck Safety Supervisor, and the other staff who led the tour.


Anonymous said...

Touring the Ford and GM assembly plants yesterday was very eye-opening! To see people working so close together and assigned such a small part of the total project brought a new perspective to repetitive motion and the associated injuries. It was reassuring to know that they often rotate jobs and that there was such excellent ergo assistance devices.

Onwards to beryllium today!
- Sadie (occ med, Mount Sinai)

Jeff Huth said...

Automobile assembly plants have come a long way since the early 20th century. Hand tools for positioning components and screwing on parts seem to significantly limit overuse injuries due to wrist flexion, extension, and rotation. The employer and the union safety teams have done a great done in implementing these programs.

Ted Quijano said...

I couldn't help but focus on the various ergonomic equipment that was being used within both plants. I saw many measures - like moving platforms that travelled during vehicle assembly, and rubberized grips for hand tools - in both cars assembly plants.

George Olsen said...

Only saw 2 robotic processes: windshield attachments and frame welding. Everything else was done by hand assembly. That was true at both Ford and GMC plants.