Chrysler’s New 3D Modeling System Helps the Company Cut Costs image

Chrysler plans to use 3D techniques for the manufacturing process at its Indiana facility, which offers the possibility to save costs and be replicated to other plants.

Brian Harlow, head of Chrysler’s powertrain operations in North America and of powertrain engineering globally, declared that 3D modeling, used to manufacture two different transmissions at the Kokomo, Indiana plant, will save engineering costs for the development of production methods. Fiat, which manages Chrysler, invests $1.3 billion to design front-wheel drive nine-speed and rear-wheel drive eight-speed transmissions at the Kokomo facility.

The 3D pre-production modeling system was designed by Strategic Manufacturing Solutions from Auburn Hills, Michigan, and it offers the possibility to visualize the entire plants, including equipment, parts and people, and test how they would work together. Brian Harlow also said that the 3D imaging will also be used at other Chrysler plants in Mexico and the US.

“We can address issues before they ever become a problem on the plant floor,” said Harlow.

The new system, will allow Chrysler and SMS engineers to see the production process more effectively than with two-dimensional modeling. The company will begin production of its eight-speed transmission in the fourth quarter and the nine-speed transmission at the beginning of 2013.