If you want to experience a true engineering marvel, visit a modern automobile assembly line. We did, and we'll say without reservation that you'll be astonished at the vast amount of technology, quality, and precise planning that goes into assembling a vehicle.
We recently toured the General Motors Janesville Assembly Plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. Janesville is one of the final assembly plants that produce all trim levels of the new, hot-selling Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The GM team granted us unrestricted access to the entire assembly line from start to finish so we could give you a virtual tour of how these exceptional SUVs are assembled.
It's important to remember that long before the complicated procedure of assembling (or "marrying," as they call it) the many components, GM invested a mind-boggling amount of time and money into an infrastructure that includes creative design engineers, quality suppliers, a just-in-time parts delivery system, cutting-edge robotics, and of course, a vast number of highly skilled employees.
After all that, one may think that the actual assembly process of these SUVs would be the easy part, but that is not true. The GMT900 SUVs are renowned for their tight and reliable build quality. To accomplish this, a vast amount of technology and quality control are integrated into the assembly process. As a matter of fact, we were left speechless after witnessing the attention to detail and tight quality control exhibited by the team at the Janesville plant. Add to this their focused priority on safety and the never-ending requirement of controlling costs, and it becomes apparent that these folks have their ducks (OK, trucks) in a row.
We'd love to show you how every component in the finely choreographed assembly procedure comes together because almost every step is fascinating and notable in its own right, but that would take hundreds of pages. Instead, follow along as we spotlight some of the highlights of this captivating and awe-inspiring procedure.
1. We began our tour with Body Shop Area Manager Craig Colby at the end of the floorpan pr
2. Conveyers carry the floorpan through a number of different "zones." In this photo you c
3. Pictured are a few of the 650 robots that work in the body shop. These robots have the
4. This fascinating zone is where the roof is married to the body. In the foreground you c
5. Up until this point in the process, the body has been mostly tack-welded together. Thes
6. Doors, fenders, hoods, and liftgates are all manufactured in-house. Here you can see a