General Motors to invest US$76mn in US manufacturing plants
Following a recent announcement made by General Motors (GM), the company has established plans to invest US$70mn into its Tonawanda, New York engine plant and over US$6mn into its Parma, Ohio metal stamping plant.
The two investments have been reported to support the automotive manufacturer’s strong customer and dealer demand for its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.
“GM continues to invest to strengthen our core business and respond to growing customer demand for our full-size pickups. Our Tonawanda and Parma teams are dedicated to building world-class products for our customers and these investments reflect our confidence in these teams,” commented Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations.
GM’s investments in Tonawanda will be used to increase the capacity of its engine block machining line, while the Pharma investments will be used to develop four new metal assembly cells to support the increased production volumes for trucks.
GM’s Tonawanda plant
At GM’s Tonawanda plant the automotive manufacturer produces the 4.3L V-6, 5.3L V-8, and the 6.2L V-8 Ecotec3 engines for the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali, and Cadillac Escalade.
In addition, the plant manufactures the company’s 6.6L small-block gas V-8 engine for the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups.
GM’s Parma Metal Center
At GM’s Parma Metal Center, the company processes over 800 tons of steel a day, serving and supporting 35 customers. The center has over 750 dies and can produce up to 100mn parts a year.
Its manufacturing process includes small, medium and large transfer press lines, high speed progressive presses, and a cut-to-length shear, as well as its stand-alone, multi-cell, resistance and laser welding metal assembly operations.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.