Technological expertise, speed and flexibility have made DaimlerChrysler (Auburn Hills, MI) a driving force in the automotive industry. More than 28,000 employees work on research and development. The company registers around 2,000 patents every year in the face of increasingly tough global competition.

Engines for a number of DaimlerChrysler vehicles are built on special pallets provided by Peak Industries Inc. (Dearborn, MI). The pallets can be adapted to accommodate four different engines.

Each pallet is located on a base plate, which is mounted on a turntable for 360-degree rotation to provide accessibility for operators on the assembly line. There are five risers on the base plate. Two manual flip-in fingers on top of each riser either pick up locating points on the engine or pick up resting points. In production, the pallets move down the line on a heavy-duty chain conveyor. Operators add various components to the engine block along the way.

The challenge to Peak engineers on this project was to accommodate the numerous variations between the four types of engines. This was accomplished without seeing a single engine. Instead, engineers used DaimlerChrysler computer-aided design data to design the pallets.

For more information on pallets, call 313-846-8666 or visit