Late last year, the SAIC-GM Jinqiao Cadillac plant was named China’s best factory at the 2018 China Operational Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Beijing Automobile Museum. The Cadillac mega plant, as it is often called unofficially, took the title after competing for it for various automakers due to its leading manufacturing performance and intelligent manufacturing processes.
Inaugurated on January 21st, 2016, the plant utilizes a winning combination of technology, intelligent processes, environmental protection measures and quality management tools that make it the most advanced car factory in China today, serving as a reference to the global automotive manufacturing industry. At the same time, the plant is the first intelligent facility in GM’s global manufacturing system to make full use of all-ethernet industrial systems.
Currently, the Jinqiao Cadillac plant produces the following four vehicles, each riding on a different GM platform:
The plant has been confirmed to produce the Cadillac XT6. It’s also expected (though not yet confirmed) to assemble the Cadillac CT4, CT5, and Buick Envoy, bringing the total amount of vehicles assembled at the facility to eight.
One of the factory’s most noteworthy characteristics is having the first body shop in China capable of aluminum body fabrication. The plant has two fully-automated production lines for steel and aluminum, equipped with 527 robots that achieve 100 percent automation in forming (joining) the body. In addition, the plant uses aluminum resistance welding, self-tapping screw-driving, self-drilling riveting, aluminum laser welding and other advanced technologies that guarantee the highest levels of automotive manufacturing.
Another highlight of the Jinqiao Cadillac plant is that it has the only “green” paint shop in the Chinese automotive industry without concrete chimneys. Adhesive and painting processes adopt fully-autonomous spray technology, representing the most advanced level of body painting in the country.
The plant’s assembly workshop features a complete implementation of an industrial-grade, all-Ethernet network that delivers accessible machine-t0-machine and people-to-machine communication.
This advanced manufacturing system enables the factory to be flexible enough to assemble a total of eight different vehicles on disparate platforms, while also making it a leader in the industry by implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) in each process. IoT makes it possible to track the torque information of each vital closing point and build a world-class digital assembly system that enables the perfect quality of each car.
About China Operational Excellence Awards
The China Operational Excellence Awards are co-hosted by Kearney Management Consulting and the Automotive Business Review magazine. The duo has established a panel of experts to evaluate and recognize manufacturing companies that operate efficiently and in an innovative fashion in China.
Winner selection is based on a comprehensive assessment of multiple performance metrics and dimensions, which includes more than 100 indicators that cover financial performance, supplier integration, production processes, supply chain management, resource management, the use of Industry 4.0 digitalization, and the use of useful, new technologies.
The world-leading production equipment, industry-leading processes, along with advances in manufacturing systems and supply chain management at the SAIC-GM Jinqiao Cadillac plant impressed the selection committee enough so as to receive the highest level of recognition.