Mitsubishi Electric Automation is supplying automation products and services for the new "world engine," a joint project among Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai. The equipment is expected to help the group cost-effectively produce a reliable engine that meets stringent automotive industry standards.
The "world engine" will soon be moving from the drawing board to actual production thanks to the signing of a major automotive contract. Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill., will supply automation products, machine controls, IT validation, startup, training, and support services at two new Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) manufacturing plants in Dundee, Mich. GEMA is an alliance among Chrysler Group, Mitsubishi Motors, and Hyundai Motor Co. to manufacture four-cylinder automotive engines.
Engine production at the first plant is scheduled to start in September and the second in September 2006. When completed, the two facilities will produce approximately 840,000 world engines annually under a manufacturing partnership agreement among the three automakers. The new plants will use flexible machining, assembly, and process technologies and methods to produce the family of four-cylinder, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.4-liter gasoline engines. The engines, designed jointly by the three automakers, will be used in future small and mid-sized Chrysler Group and Mitsubishi Motors vehicles in North America.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation will provide the GEMA plants with flexible machinery-control concepts that are expected to help the Chrysler Group attain overall cost savings of $100 million annually when compared to previous traditional powertrain plants.
"GEMA is an example of what teamwork, perfect choreography of people, and technology can contribute to improved value for customers and shareholders," says Bruce Coventry, GEMA president. "It is helping us evolve to a more high-performance business model. As a source of state-of-the-art process innovation, it's feeding the transformation of Chrysler Group and teaching us what is possible when people are capable, motivated, equipped, and empowered to achieve breakthrough performance."
The GEMA plant will use approximately 250 Mitsubishi Electric Q PLCs, 400 A900 GOT HMIs, and more than 100 MR — J2S servos for complete engine-assembly, head, and block lines. More than 100 Mitsubishi compact C64 CNCs will also be used. Machinery comes from major automotive suppliers including Nippei Toyama Corp. (NTC), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), DURR, ICA Cinetic Automation, Harry Major Machine, and Comau Pico.