- $166 million investment brings latest technology to 51-year-old stamping operation
- New presses will increase annual capacity by 30 percent
- Plant recognized as largest stamping facility in the world
- More than $8.3 billion invested in U.S. operations with $3.5 billion in Michigan since June 2009
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – The FCA US Sterling Stamping Plant celebrated the production launch of three new stamping presses during an event today attended by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell and about 700 plant employees.
In July 2015, the Company announced a $166 million investment to bring the latest state-of-the-art stamping technology to the 51-year-old suburban Detroit facility with the installation of two extra-large High Speed Servo Tandem press lines (each 180 inches) and one large Servo Progressive press line. The last new press at Sterling Stamping was installed in 2000.
Recognized as the largest stamping facility in the world at nearly 3 million square feet, the three new press lines will increase the plant’s capacity by nearly 75,000 stampings per day or 20 million a year. Production at the plant will increase by about 30 percent, from more than 62 million stampings annually to about 82 million.
A Tandem press houses multiple presses in line in series, under which a single die is positioned in each press to perform an incremental function to make the stamped part. This advanced technology allows for maximum flexibility by enabling die changes more frequently and five times more quickly, in about 4 minutes as compared to 20 minutes with older presses.
The Servo Tandem Presses are the first presses of their kind at Sterling Stamping and are identical to the one launched at Warren Stamping (Mich.) in January 2016. The new presses improve reliability and maintainability, while at the same time reducing energy usage and increasing output rates. The press’ servo drive allows for 100 percent programmable control and movement of the ram speed at any position in the press stroke unlike a mechanical press that operates at a fixed speed. Construction of the two lines began in May 2015.
The new Servo Progressive Press is a single press with one slide in which a single die with an unlimited number of operations produces parts at a high speed directly from a single coil of steel. Installation of the progressive press began in November 2015.
Sterling Stamping is one of six facilities in the FCA North American family that stamps and sub-assembles parts from sheet metal, including hoods, roofs, liftgates, side apertures, fenders and floor pans.
Those parts are then shipped to several of the Company’s North American facilities to be welded and assembled together to form the bodies of such vehicles as:
- Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan, Windsor Assembly Plant (Ontario)
- Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jefferson North Assembly Plant (Detroit)
- Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, Belvidere Assembly Plant (Ill.)
- Jeep Cherokee, Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio)
- Ram Trucks, Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.)
- Chrysler 200, Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Mich.)
- Ram Trucks, Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (Mexico)
Including the new presses, Sterling Stamping operates a total of 19 major press lines, three blankers* and four large progressive press lines**, ranging from 400 to 4,000 ton capacity. These presses supply Sterling Stamping’s internal sub-assembly welding shop which is comprised of individual lines that are equipped with more than 720 robots. The facility currently processes nearly a half million tons of steel and 14,000 tons of aluminum annually. The plant operates on an alternative work schedule and employs 2,281.
Since June 2009, FCA US has invested over $8.3 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations to upgrade facilities and increase capacity. Of that amount, more than $3.5 billion has been spent in Michigan.
Image credit: Google Maps
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