The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) presented the Kenworth Truck Co. plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, two leadership awards. One is for taking the guesswork out of bolt torque tightening. The other is for error-proofing truck cab construction.
The PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) brand’s SMART Tool Error Proofing System and Cab Trim Finish Line projects lead to better quality trucks.
SMART Tool is a process verification system. It automates torque-tightening quality and increases plant-wide efficiency.
Kenworth worked with ARC Solutions Technology,. They used Design for Six Sigma to create custom software that could remove error from the fastening process.
Direct current tools are used with process verification. They pull the chassis specifications and populate the mixture of sockets, torque numbers and bolt locations needed for the operator to tighten the fasteners. That increases repeatability. It also reduces the chances of incorrect variation by automating the decision-making for each chassis.
Adding a finish line for cabs
A Cab Trim Finish Line project also used Six Sigma and project management tools to improve first-time quality. A new finish line was added at the end of Cab Trim before it is set on the chassis. This improves quality on cabs, sleepers and hoods for the Class 8 T680, T880 and W990 models.
The project also led to improved safety, quality, cost and delivery. Workers rearranged the plant beginning in the second quarter of 2019 and began seeing benefits in trim, paint, material handling and the mainline departments by September.
“Our manufacturing engineering and quality teams constantly explore and implement continuous initiatives to our world-class manufacturing processes,” said Rod Spencer, Kenworth Chillicothe plant manager.
The PACCAR medium-duty truck plant in Ste-Thérèse, Quebec was honored for an Axle Trim Efficiency Improvement Project to move front and rear axles throughout the trim process. PACCAR replaced a slat conveyor and multiple roller conveyors with a circular manufacturing line composed of automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
Kenworth sister company Peterbilt Motors received two NAM awards. Peterbilt’s Night Shift Production initiative and the Peterbilt Women’s Initiative recognized operational excellence and talent management respectively.
The NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States.