Aiming for perfection, engineers at General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly Plant used a sophisticated laser-scanning process to find problems with fit on the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon pickups. The result is a “perfect body.”
When GM starting building the all-new mid-size trucks, they had to narrow down and resolve conflicts between bringing parts and assemblies from five plants and as many as 20 different suppliers. Bringing this array of items into the production line caused problems with fitting.
For example, GM found an ill-fitting passenger side A-pillar between the windshield, instrument panel and headliner. This poor fit was recognized via the laser scanner. Engineers then uncovered the problem by looking at a variety of design and production issues. They found the problem, fixed it and refined the production process before assembly began.
“We’re working with an entirely new vehicle architecture as well as the latest technology available for dimensional management,” said Bryan Vickery, dimensional engineer for Body Maintenance at Wentzville. “The process is a big part of delivering improved body structures, which translates to great vehicles to our customers.”
Even though the truck is moving through assembly lines, the tool is still used to help identify problems that the naked eye can’t see.
“The perfect body process helps everyone by quickly identifying the source of a particular issue and giving us guidance on what needs to be done to fix it,” said Mark Deterding, engineering manager for Magna Interiors. “We discover potential issues before they can affect the vehicle’s quality. We identify solutions and we use them to make sure our solutions work.
“It’s an additional step, but we’re happy to spend time with these perfect bodies because they mean safer, quieter and more reliable vehicles for the customer.”