Tyree Minner is a family man—an attribute that translates well to his role as plant manager of the Chrysler Group’s newly renovated Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP). His nurturing leadership style and management ability inspire in others a sense of pride and integrity that can be seen in the quality of every car that rolls off the assembly line and onto the street.
Tyree sat down to talk with Chrysler Forward Look and even took us on an exclusive tour of the SHAP facility, home of the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200.
Forward Look: What makes Chrysler manufacturing stand out against the competition?
Tyree: World-Class Manufacturing (WCM), a manufacturing philosophy evident in every Chrysler Group facility globally, is our secret weapon.
The WCM methodology is at the core of everything we do—it’s how we operate on a daily basis, with the goal of eliminating waste. At the same time, WCM is improving safety, quality, efficiency and flexibility while adding value to our products.
Here at SHAP, we implement 10 technical pillars and 10 managerial pillars that focus our efforts on incremental levels of improvement and results that are clearly identifiable and measurable.
Forward Look: How will these new processes contribute to the plant’s overall productivity and efficiency?
Tyree: When we began work on the SHAP, we looked at the life-cycle cost associated with equipment, operations and the facility, and tailored our processes according to the WCM standard. Here are just a few examples.
- The new paint facility uses an innovative Friction Drive System to move the vehicle on eight miles of conveyor through the different phases of the paint process. It pushes vehicles using pressure discs, instead of the conveyor chains traditionally used in most assembly plants. With fewer moving parts, the system reduces equipment cost, energy consumption, noise and maintenance cost, while decreasing sources of contamination due to the lack of chain oil.
- SHAP uses a powder primer paint system for the 2015 Chrysler 200, which saves cost and reduces the impact to the environment by utilizing 97 percent of all powder.
- Ergonomics are a critical aspect to worker efficiency. We have engineered machines that are capable of rotating a vehicle 180 degrees so that it is positioned in a way that is most efficient for the operator.
- We also have installed line-side limos, which are devices that track along with the vehicle so the operator doesn’t waste time and energy walking back and forth on the line.
Forward Look: What are you most proud of as plant manager of this new facility?
Tyree: I’m most proud of this resilient workforce. When I first got here in April 2010, this plant was scheduled to close. This workforce didn’t give up; they got back up and worked to become stronger than they were before. Three years later, we are proud to be launching the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200.
Stay tuned next week as Tyree Minner walks Chrysler Forward Look through each of the nine phases needed to give the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 its perfect paint job.