Autoassemblyplantlayout and ohs cathywalker-2011.5.28 2003 power point

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Autoassemblyplantlayout and ohs cathywalker-2011.5.28 2003 power point

  1. 1. Auto Assembly Plant Introduction Cathy Walker Former Director, Health and Safety Department, Canadian Auto Workers Union
  2. 2. Auto parts are supplied from owned plants or from independent plants • Power train suppliers of: – Engines – Transmissions
  3. 3. Auto parts suppliers • Windshields • Steering wheels • Seats, etc.
  4. 4. AUTO ASSEMBLY PROCESS
  5. 5. Stamping: Stamping out and cutting parts from sheet metal
  6. 6. Stamping line enclosed
  7. 7. Chassis The typical car or truck is constructed from the ground up (and out). The frame forms the base on which the body rests and from which all subsequent assembly components follow. The frame is placed on the assembly line and clamped to the conveyer to prevent shifting as it moves down the line. From here the automobile frame moves to component assembly areas where complete front and rear suspensions, gas tanks, rear axles and drive shafts, gear boxes, steering box components, wheel drums, and braking systems are sequentially installed.
  8. 8. Chassis
  9. 9. Chassis
  10. 10. Body • Body is built on a separate assembly line from chassis • The floor pan is the largest body component to which a multitude of panels and braces will subsequently be either welded or bolted. As it moves down the assembly line, held in place by clamping fixtures, the shell of the vehicle is built.
  11. 11. Underbody
  12. 12. Body • First, the left and right quarter panels are robotically disengaged from pre-staged shipping containers and placed onto the floor pan, where they are stabilized with positioning fixtures and welded. • The front and rear door pillars, roof, and body side panels are assembled in the same fashion. The shell of the automobile assembled in this section of the process lends itself to the use of robots because articulating arms can easily introduce various component braces and panels to the floor pan and perform a high number of weld operations in a time frame and with a degree of accuracy no human workers could ever approach. Robots can pick and load 91 kilogram roof panels and place them precisely in the proper weld position with tolerance variations held to within .0005 of a centimeter.
  13. 13. Side body
  14. 14. Welding: Very smoky job, welding flash; today mostly done by robots
  15. 15. Body in white
  16. 16. Body in White • Prior to painting, the body must pass through a rigorous inspection process, the body in white operation. The shell of the vehicle passes through a brightly lit white room where it is fully wiped down by visual inspectors using cloths soaked in hi-light oil. Under the lights, this oil allows inspectors to see any defects in the sheet metal body panels. Dings, dents, and any other defects are repaired right on the line by skilled body repairmen. After the shell has been fully inspected and repaired, the assembly conveyor carries it through a cleaning station where it is immersed and cleaned of all residual oil, dirt, and contaminants to prepare it for painting.
  17. 17. Body in white inspection
  18. 18. Body in white inspection
  19. 19. Paint: E-coat • As the shell exits the cleaning station it goes through a drying booth and then through an undercoat dip—an electrostatically charged bath of undercoat paint (called the E-coat) that covers every nook and cranny of the body shell, both inside and out, with primer. This coat acts as a substrate surface to which the top coat of colored paint adheres.
  20. 20. Paint control room
  21. 21. Undercoat drying • After the E-coat bath, the shell is again dried in a booth as it proceeds on to the final paint operation. In most automobile assembly plants today, vehicle bodies are spray-painted by robots that have been programmed to apply the exact amounts of paint to just the right areas for just the right length of time. Considerable research and programming has gone into the dynamics of robotic painting in order to ensure the fine "wet" finishes we have come to expect. Robotic painters have come a long way since Ford's first Model Ts, which were painted by hand with a brush.
  22. 22. Drying oven
  23. 23. Undercoat
  24. 24. Waterborne paint, outmoded
  25. 25. Paint, today, powder coat
  26. 26. Baking ovens • Once the shell has been fully covered with a base coat of color paint and a clear top coat, the conveyor transfers the bodies through baking ovens where the paint is cured at temperatures exceeding 135 degrees Celsius.
  27. 27. After paint, to interior assembly
  28. 28. Interior assembly • The painted shell proceeds through the interior assembly area where workers assemble all of the instrumentation and wiring systems, dash panels, interior lights, seats, door and trim panels, headliners, radios, speakers, all glass except the automobile windshield, steering column and wheel, body weather strips, vinyl tops, brake and gas pedals, carpeting, and front and rear bumper fascias.
  29. 29. Trim line
  30. 30. Trim line
  31. 31. Windshields used to be installed by hand
  32. 32. Today, windshields are installed by robots
  33. 33. Windshield • Robots equipped with suction cups remove the windshield from a shipping container, apply a bead of urethane sealer to the perimeter of the glass, and then place it into the body windshield frame. Robots also pick seats and trim panels and transport them to the vehicle for the ease and efficiency of the assembly operator. After passing through this section the shell is given a water test to ensure the proper fit of door panels, glass, and weather stripping. It is now ready to mate with the chassis.
  34. 34. Body and chassis mate
  35. 35. Mate • The chassis assembly conveyor and the body shell conveyor meet at this stage of production. As the chassis passes the body conveyor the shell is robotically lifted from its conveyor fixtures and placed onto the car frame. Assembly workers, some at ground level and some in work pits beneath the conveyor, bolt the car body to the frame.
  36. 36. Final assembly, trim: tires, batteries, gasoline, anti-freeze
  37. 37. Robot fuelling
  38. 38. Final Inspection
  39. 39. Checkpoint off the line • The vehicle can now be started. From here it is driven to a checkpoint off the line, where its engine is audited, its lights and horn checked, its tires balanced, and its charging system examined. Any defects discovered at this stage require that the car be taken to a central repair area, usually located near the end of the line. A crew of skilled trouble-shooters at this stage analyze and repair all problems. When the vehicle passes final audit it is given a price label and driven to a staging lot where it will await shipment to its destination.
  40. 40. Final inspection
  41. 41. Specific OHS issues in auto assembly plants • Safety issues: • Repetitive strain injuries • Ergonomics and pace of work • Machine guarding and lockout • Health issues: • Asbestos • Metalworking fluids
  42. 42. Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) • RSIs in wrists, elbows and shoulders as a result of speed up • You don’t die from RSIs but these injuries are very painful and sometimes mean workers can’t continue to work • 1989 Free Trade Agreement with United States set the stage for assembly line speed up
  43. 43. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Canada • Even though the majority of Canadians were opposed to it • Effective January 1, 1989 • Its purpose was to benefit American corporations
  44. 44. What effect did the Free Trade Agreement have on the health and safety of Canadian auto workers?
  45. 45. Workers Suffered from Speed-Up
  46. 46. (North American Free Trade Agreement) effective January 1, 1994
  47. 47. What effect did NAFTA have on the health and safety of auto workers in Canada?
  48. 48. CAW - McMaster University Auto Parts Study 1,600 workers in 1995 • Conditions were bad: – 61% said their workload was too much – 40% said they worked in pain at least half the time – 44% said their job was more tense than it was 2 years before – 55% said they couldn't keep up the current pace until age 60 – 53% said they worked as fast as they could most of each day – 37% said they worked in an awkward position at least half of the day
  49. 49. CAW - McMaster University Auto Parts Study 1,600 workers in 1995 • And they were getting worse: – 41% said their health risks at work were higher than 2 years before – 45% said they were more tired after work than 2 years before – 52% said their workload was heavier than 2 years before
  50. 50. Ergonomics and Pace of Work: Workers in auto assembly and auto parts needed: • More rest time • Union representatives to fight against speed-up • Ergonomics: principle of fitting job to worker rather than other way around
  51. 51. Solutions: Collective Bargaining • Bargained improvements in Big 3 collective agreements: union ergonomics and time study representatives, training and other requirements • Ergonomics requirements to design jobs better • Ergonomics and time-study representatives: chosen by union but paid for by employer • More time at work for rest and more time off the job
  52. 52. Union ergonomics reps work with workers to design better jobs
  53. 53. Solutions: Ergonomics Laws • Lobbied hard in every Canadian jurisdiction • Successful in Canada and some provinces • But the province of Ontario we succeeded only in getting policies, not laws • No-one should have to do overhead work like this repeatedly
  54. 54. Ergonomic Orders in Province of British Columbia: Selected Industries, April 15/98 - April 30/2000 380 245 210 190 160 45 Health Care Government Supermarkets Hotels Poultry Processing Sawmilling
  55. 55. RSIs Decreased Dramatically 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 2000 2001 2002 Sales Manu. Constr. • The number of RSI claims accepted dropped dramatically in 2002 • WCB reports safer workplaces
  56. 56. Laws work • Compel corporations to modify their behaviour in accordance with society’s wishes • Ensure the dictates of profit are not the only mechanism which influences corporate behaviour
  57. 57. KPMG Canadian Environmental Management Survey Canadian Corporate Executives reported: • 16 % motivated to take action on environmental issues when government programs were voluntary • 95% were motivated to take action on environmental issues to ensure compliance with government regulations
  58. 58. Toyota Tianjin • Visited plant in 2004 • In 2000 the average service, 2 years • Young workers, technical junior high school • Small cars and Corollas, including hybrids
  59. 59. Health & Safety • Pace of work too fast and too hard, even young, fit workers won’t last
  60. 60. GM Shanghai: 5,500 workers Pace of work in 2004 seemed OK; 2008 still seemed OK
  61. 61. Beijing Jeep: first automotive joint venture in China, 1983 • 2004 visit was to the old plant
  62. 62. Beijing Jeep
  63. 63. Pace of work slow, 4 minute cycle time in 2004
  64. 64. Visited new plant (now called Beijing Benz in 2010) • Pace of work is still slow relative to other auto assembly plants • The union had good input into workplace issues prior to the move to the new plant and was aware of the pace of work issue presenting new challenges
  65. 65. Visited Beijing Hyundai in 2006 and 2010 • Pace of work seemed similar to Shanghai GM, faster than Beijing Benz but slower than Toyota Tianjin
  66. 66. Health & Safety isn’t a joint problem • It is workers who get hurt, not the boss • So we believe it is workers who should have the say in how to correct health and safety problems in the workplace • Workers have health and safety rights • Employers have health and safety responsibilities • Unions must advise workers of their rights and press employers to live up to their responsibilities.
  67. 67. Companies should spend • As much money on making workers comfortable in their work as they do making customers comfortable in the cars
  68. 68. Thanks very much! • I welcome any comments or suggestions for improvements to health and safety.

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