Assembly in Action / Automotive Assembly / Columns

Management Software Keeps Fiat WCM Initiatives on Track

January 3, 2013

This past June, Chrysler Group LLC announced that its World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy had generated more than $1 million in savings after only six months. WCM is a methodology that Fiat S.p.A. began developing, implementing and refining in 2005 as a way to improve manufacturing operations. Fiat bought Chrysler from the United States Treasury on July 21, 2011.

Fiat’s WCM initiative focuses on 11 business objectives. These include safety, cost deployment, focused improvement, autonomous maintenance, job organization, professional maintenance, quality control, logistics client services, early equipment management, people development and the environment.

The initiative also establishes a series of guidelines to reach various business milestones, such as benchmarks for product standardization, supplier relations, the disposal of materials at the facility and scientific methods to execute improvements.

Fiat Powertrain, a subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A., manufactures all engines and transmissions for Fiat Group Automobiles. The subsidiary operates 12 plants in Europe, Asia and South America, and five research centers there as well as in North Amer-ica.

Fiat Powertrain makes 69- to 235-horsepower engines and 147- to 400-newton-meter transmissions. It is one of the larg-est global players in the powertrain sector for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

In 2010, Fiat Powertrain began implementing WCM initiatives at its engine manufacturing facility in Campo Largo, Brazil. Fiat Powertrain in Betim, Brazil, implemented WCM in 2011.

At both plants, the company uses TrakSYS software to meet Fiat S.p.A.’s WCM goals. TrakSYS provides real-time management of manufacturing operations and worker performance. It is made by Parsec Automation Corp. and is used in thousands of automotive and equipment manufacturing plants around the world.

HSI Sistemas Industriais integrated TrakSYS into both assembly plants. Since 1993, HSI has provided turnkey solutions and developed integrated systems for information technology, management, automation and industrial processes control.

After collecting real-time production and equipment data from PLC networks, the software evaluates the data based on Fiat S.p.A.’s business model. This helps Fiat Powertrain determine which processes do not meet WCM

TrakSYS identifies exactly where the plant is losing money and how much it is losing there, and helps Fiat Powertrain determine the root cause of the losses. The software also helps eliminate equipment breakdowns, improve product quality and decrease lead time.

Without production disruption, TrakSYS can increase capacity with no new capital equipment. In addition, TrakSYS al-lows greater operator involvement to continuously improve and increase the productivity of each plant’s assembly and machining lines.

For more information on manufacturing management software, call 714-996-5302 or visit

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