Chrysler WCM Academy Hosts First-Ever Awards Ceremony — WARREN, Mich., Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

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Chrysler’s Rod Engle and his ETTEE award for reducing costs

“WARREN, Mich., Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Lights! Glamour! Assembly lines? Chrysler Group’s WCM Academy Hosts First-Ever Awards Ceremony.

In true Hollywood style, Chrysler Group and the UAW rolled out the red carpet for the Company’s high achievers in manufacturing at the first-ever World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy Awards ceremony …”


Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Awards, and the rituals of presenting them to winners, are a tool of management communication. To give the desired message, you need to think through what you give the awards for, who you give them to, and the mix of tangible and symbolic rewards attached.

Chrysler awards categories are not all self-explanatory, and there some that I just don’t understand. The name of the awards, ETTEE, stands for “Excellence, Talent, Togetherness, Energy, Etc.”

There are no awards under the “Etc.” heading. All the “Talent” awards are given to individuals for “Highest Level of Project Savings.” In other words, the only form of talent recognized is that of individuals to reduce costs.

Under “Excellence,” you have more individual awards for “Trainer of the Year,” “Facilitator of the Year,” and “Most Projects Tracked by an Individual.”

Under “Togetherness,” you have awards for plants and teams: “HHH Best in Class,” “Highest Percentage of People Involved,” and “Excellence in Joint Leadership,”

Under “Energy,” you have plant awards for  “”Highest Percentage of Projects Tracked by Plant, ” and “Most Hosted Plant.” and and individual awards for “Most Training Hours Completed.”

For the “person of the year” type of awards, the name gives no indication of the evaluation criteria, and perceptions of fairness may be as difficult to achieve as in Olympic figure skating.

On the other hand, awards given based on metrics —  like cost savings, percentage of people involved, or number of hours of training taken — have objective criteria that individuals can understand and pursue. The key issue here is whether you really want your employees to do that.

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Modern automotive lean detailed at LMJ Conference 2013 |

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“It is by constantly developing our people and focusing on fostering a culture of continuous improvement that we can hope to, one day, achieve success. This was the message of the 4th annual LMJ Conference, a two-day event held last week by TM’s sister publication Lean Management Journal in Birmingham. Manufacturing, naturally, made a very important contribution to the conference, with speakers from Volvo, Chrysler and Toyota Material Handling providing highlights from Day One.

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Take a bow, Canada: How we helped save the auto industry | iPolitics

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Our plant tour showed a stunning transformation as Fiat’s “World Class Manufacturing” (WCM) system is implemented. For students visiting for the first time, a modern manufacturing facility is bewilderingly complex.

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What the gizmos are for at Chrysler’s WCM academy

Chrysler’s recently opened “World Class Manufacturing” (WCM) academy in Warren, MI, uses a number of high technology tools, including a 3D immersion theater, the motion-tracking suits used in video game design, and a modified slot car track. To figure out what they are used for, however, we need to piece together separately published information from the Kelley Blue Book’s Car News from 1/24/2012  and the  1/30/12 issue of the  UAW’s Solidarity magazine,

The 3D immersion theater

From Car News, this is what it looks like:

According to Solidarity magazine, it is used for safety training, as follows:

Students don 3D goggles to become fully immersed in a plant setting full of unsafe acts and conditions, thanks to the same technology used by the U.S. Department of Defense to train soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

The video becomes a learning tool to help workers become aware of unsafe conditions, identify potential hazards and work through possible solutions.

Motion tracking suits

From Car News:

From Solidarity:

…the Human Motion Capture Arena employs the same technology used to create video games in an exercise designed to improve efficiency in performing job functions.

A student dresses in a special suit covered with LED sensors that capture the individual’s movements, from the largest such as walking to the slightest such as the movement of a finger. Above, a ring truss is equipped with multiple cameras that capture the movements and project them on a video display.

This exercise enables students to visualize how an operator would move to perform a given job function so they can eliminate waste by deciding how to reduce the number of movements or make them more consistent with a person’s natural movements.

The slot car track

From Car News:

From Solidarity:

The slot car track is used to demonstrate the seven steps of micro-stoppages on the line – small equipment breakdowns that can cause major losses.

The cars on the track and the track itself have been modified to “break down” while racing. A high-speed camera captures the movements, helping students see that the breakdown might be worse than what is obvious to the naked eye. In this way, operators learn to apply a disciplined process to discover the root cause of a problem.

Turnaround is accelerating at Chrysler plants in Kokomo, Indiana – Indianapolis Star

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Turnaround is accelerating at Chrysler plants in Kokomo, IndianaIndianapolis StarDuring a rare media tour of three of Chrysler’s four Kokomo plants Thursday, Harlow and much of the plant leadership talked mainly about the difference that the World…

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