Thursday kicked off the first day of the National Corvette Museum’s annual Anniversary show that traditionally runs over the Labor Day weekend. One of the first seminars held and the one we were most anxious to see comes from Bowling Green Assembly’s plant manager Kai Spande who provided an in-depth update on the renovations at the plant.
Before getting into actual the actual renovation details, Kai started the presentation talking about several employee programs. One is called “Protect the Vette”, which aims to reward the autoworkers for finding defects or flaws in a car and bringing attention to it so it can be fixed. “The Perfect 10” is aimed at engine builders and it’s a Challenge Program designed to reward those builders who can assemble an engine without a single failure or defect. The Perfect 10 rewards those builders who can do this with 10 engines in a row.
Kai also mentioned that Bowling Green Assembly is GM’s safest plant in North America.
Next, Kai shows some of the virtual training that employees are undergoing to get them ready for when the plant resumes. Very much like first shooter video games, the programs not only show how the cars are assembled, there is information that shows the operator why the assembly is being done in that way. From there, employees move to a building where they can practice what they learned virtually with actual hands-on training.
Before production was paused at the end of July, the team also documented both how the C7s were being assembled with a video that follows cars through the entire production process, and they documented the final car to go down the old assembly line, a 2018 Torch Red Stingray.
Over 1000 contractors are working on the plant and Kai says there is a lot of concrete and steel work going on.
Kai also showed off the newly announced Sebring Orange exterior color first unveiled at Carlisle by showing the new color painted on a rear quarter panel. Kai says the new color will be exclusively offered from the new paint shop. He says it shows the paint shop is real and they are making a lot of progress. “We’ve got some new things that are going and were absolutely very busy and were proud and I think there’s going to be a lot of people who like this new color,” said the Plant Manager.
Next up is some before and after photos showing how a previous installation station may have appeared and what the process will be like with the new assembly line. Various AGC (automated guided carriers) are used as well moving platforms called skillets which can be adjusted vertically depending on the operator and installation process.
Following the slide presentation, Kai opens up the discussion for questions and answers.
Sebring Orange painted panel:
A big thanks to Jeremy Welborn for recording and uploaded Kai’s presentation.
[PIC] New Corvettes Still Remain at the Corvette Assembly Plant
Final Corvette Rolls Off the Old Assembly Line as Retooling Begins
[VIDEO] Corvette Assembly Plant Update with Kai Spande from the 2017 NCM Bash