GE and its assembly line

Open up General Electric’s website and Total Quality Management shines bright on the screen with the title:

“GE transportation is building high-performance assembly lines that deliver the world´s most efficient heavy-haul locomotive in North America today.”

In real time on the homepage, GE constantly updates fuel savings, parts delivered for final manufacturing and miles of testing undergone today.

Introduced in the industrial revolution, assembly lines changed the scope of the history of manufacturing. Supply Chain Management today owes itself to the works of total quality management analysts such as Edward Deming and Malcolm Baldrige who improved the production system.

The history of assembly lines has led to great advancements in quality management, and companies are still furthering efficiency and discovering new techniques to date.

GE says its new “world of manufacturing is about speed, skill, flexibility and coordinated supply chains.” The company likes to show you what the inside of their factories look like and let you hear their own engineers speak about the manufacturing process.

The process

For example, in this video you can watch GE’s manufacturing engineers explain the assembly lines and locomotive production in a factory in Pennsylvania, in which over 12,000 parts come in each day.

One engineer says:

“Our global supply chain has a 100-year history of making locomotive products developed in various sites which allows us to network and utilize each site for its strength.”

Another says:

“We joke that manufacturing is a constant game of problem-solving. You never walk into a day of manufacturing where things are the way you expected them to be. So in order to do that you need to have a workforce that’s able to do multiple different jobs.”

In another video, “The PowerHaul Locomotive”, GE’s engineers manufacture 1,300 parts of the PowerHaul locomotive in Earie, Pennsylvania and ship them to Eskişehir, Turkey where the locomotive is assembled in a few weeks.The locomotive is lightweight and has 3,700 horsepower.

2 thoughts on “GE and its assembly line

  1. Pingback: Toyota’s Quality Tool: 5S | The Quality Blog

  2. Pingback: Think Like Toyota: A3, PDCA & Problem-Solving | The Quality Blog

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