Jeep Wrangler ‘Rotisserie’ Method Makes Production Safer than Ever
Jeep uses an age-old culinary trick to improve efficiency by 59% and eliminate 500 known factory hazards at Toledo North Plant.
Since the very beginning of the automobile, automakers have constantly sought new and innovative ways to manufacture vehicles. First came the assembly line, which revolutionized speed, efficiency, and quality. And ever since, high-tech robots and other gee-whiz tech have truly changed the way our cars and trucks are built. But now, Jeep is reaching into a relatively old bag of tricks to crank up the production speed of their new JL-series Wrangler.
We’re talking about a rotisserie, something once used only by high-end auto restoration shops. But now, Jeep is using what they call a “rotisserie skillet” at its Toledo North plant to make assembly of the new Wrangler easier and quicker.
According to Detroit News, this interesting technique was borne out of necessity. Apparently the Wrangler’s open roof configuration and off-road capability present some unique challenges for assembly line workers because components are hard to reach.
Apparently, Jeep employees hated completing these tasks as a result. “What would happen is … the harder areas would be lower-seniority employees,” said Toledo North worker Tom Hall. “Those would be the areas operators would want to (get out) of.”
In true, good old American fashion, those workers expressed their concerns to management and engineers. And they all worked together to come up with this solution.
According to Jeep, their rotisserie skillet eliminates 500 potential risks for workers, in addition to improving efficiency by 59 percent. The workers “definitely love it,” Hall said. “Before, they were overhead-working all day long, head craned back. So this does make a difference.” A simple yet ingenious solution to an obvious problem, indeed.