expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2015 and will reach full volume in the first half of 2016.
The investment comes as the facility celebrates 50 years of producing body panels and assemblies for some of the company's most popular vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram Truck.
"In response to the increased demand for our products, it was crucial to make an investment where the manufacturing process starts," said Brian Harlow, Vice-President - Manufacturing, FCA - North America. "As the company's second stamping plant investment in a year, this funding will allow the Sterling Stamping Plant to maintain the quality and speed necessary to continue supporting our manufacturing operations."
The investment includes the purchase and installation of two extra-large High Speed Servo Tandem press lines (each 180-inches) and one large Servo Progressive press line. In total, the three presses will increase the number of stampings produced each day by nearly 75,000 or 20-million a year. Currently, Sterling Stamping produces 62-million stampings annually.
The new Servo Tandem Presses will improve reliability and maintainability, while at the same time reducing energy usage and increasing output rate. The press' servo drive allows for 100 per cent programmable control and movement of the ram speed at any position in the press stroke unlike a mechanical press that operates at a fixed speed. The Tandem Press is multiple presses in line in series, under which a single die is positioned in each press to perform an incremental function to make the stamped part. A Progressive Press is a single press with one slide in which a single die with an unlimited number of operations produces parts at a high speed directly from a single coil of steel.