Friday, July 14, 2006

Factory Robots' Work Slowdowns

Belvidere, Illinois

A Chrysler factory 'manned' by over 700 robots that has been touted as the salvation of the US auto factory has been plagued by worker slow-downs.
The robots will shut down the line if parts or people wander into their work areas. If the intrusion into the robot's personal space is minor then the assembly line is started up again after appropriate apologies. If there is an actual crash of car parts then software must be debugged.

The factory at Belvidere has just undergone a $420 Million upgrade which included the hiring of the ABB robots for an automated body shop. The new installation is unique for its ability to handle more than one model of car at a time. The factory has begun making Dodge Calibur and Jeep Compass.
Unfortunately the new body-shop is being blamed for production backlogs on those car models.

The robot project eliminated a few hundred human-worker jobs in the body shop but the expansion of the plant has led to new a few thousand new jobs for second and third shift workers. More than $30 million of the plant upgrade came from state incentive money.

Rockford Register Star - Rockford's Newspaper and Website - Local & State News


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home