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The Plant

The new Jeep Assembly Plant in Goiana (Pernambuco) plays an important role in FCA Group’s global strategy and it was the first plant to be inaugurated following the Fiat/Chrysler merger in October 2014.

Goiana is FCA Group’s most modern assembly plant, benefiting from more than 15,000 best practices adopted through the World Class Manufacturing system, with a particular focus on production quality and optimization of logistics flows. In addition to the main plant, the complex also includes an integrated on-site supplier park.

With its flexible design, the plant can produce multiple models simultaneously and has a total capacity of 250,000 vehicles per year.

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Facts and Figures

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​​​Timeline

2010 - 2015

​​​​December 2010:​ Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding with Pernambuco State Government and Brazil Federal Government

​​​August 2011: Announcement of the Start of Pernambuco Project.​

​​​September 2012: Start of facility construction.

​​December 2012: First employee hired for the future plant. Engineering students of Pernambuco universities are sent to Italy in order to complete their courses at the Turin Polytechnic.​

​​September 2013: Start of Supplier Park construction.​​

​October 2014: Assembly of the first pre-production Jeep Renegade.

​​February 2015: Production of the first Jeep Renegade for customers.

March 2015: Jeep Renegade launch for Latin America.​

April 28th, 2015: Inauguration of Jeep Automotive Facilities in Pernambuco, Brazil​.

Production Process

​​​The first model to be produced at the plant is the new Jeep Renegade, which represents the brand’s return to production in Brazil after a 30-year interval.

Despite its modest dimensions, the Renegade fully embodies the adventurous lifestyle and 4x4 advantages for which Jeep is renowned. It delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road performance, open-air freedom and convenience. The vehicle is available with a choice of two fuel-efficient engines, three transmissions and a host of innovative safety and technology features.

The Renegade was designed to attract young, adventure-seeking customers from around the world to the Jeep brand.

​​Press Shop

The two lines of Komatsu presses are the state-of-the-art in production technology capable of producing 18 castings per minute, while consuming less power than previous generations. Their electric motors can move heavy loads with extreme precision, ensuring that the integrity of the sheet metal and the quality of the stamp are maintained.

The press shop is also equipped with a Schuler blanking line. This means steel coils can be cleaned, stretched and cut on-site, enabling a level of control over quality that is significantly superior to using pre-cut sheet metal.

 

 

 

​​Body Shop

The body shop is equipped with an innovative system – designed exclusively for the Goiana plant – that enables welding of the vehicle body at a single station. The challenge was to apply welds at 100 different points in 60 seconds and freeze the vehicle’s body geometry in one step.

During the typical body assembly process, transfer from one station to another can compromise accuracy, giving rise to problems such as ill-fitting components, noise issues, etc. Comau developed a framing line with 18 robots that surround the body and apply 100 welds in 60 seconds, guaranteeing maximum precision. This configuration is flexible meaning that the line can be adapted for multiple models.

 

 

 

​​Paint Shop

The painting process was improved through the introduction of ‘primerless’ technology. This process ensures the quality and durability of the paint work, while at the same time reducing energy consumption and lowering chemical emissions.

 

 

 

​​Assembly

The assembly line has been ergonomically designed to minimize physical effort and uncomfortable movements for workers. Examples include the skillet, which adjusts to the height of the worker and has a wooden base that reduces back strain, and a carriage system that rotates the car onto its side to facilitate easier access to difficult to reach areas. The concept is simple: if workers are comfortable, they can focus on quality.

Another critically important step is mounting the powertrain, which involves moving considerable weight. This process has now been automated. The powertrain enters the assembly line at floor level and the body is lowered from above. At a certain point, the two assemblies are automatically joined. Automation ensures repeatability of the operation and conformity with design specifications.

 

In terms of internal logistics, industrial warehouses are usually a rectangular area, with large distances between the entry gate and the assembly line. At Goiana, however, the parts warehouse has a hand shaped layout. This means the entry gate is much closer to the line, eliminating distances, reducing parts movement, and improving efficiency.

Communication Center

The Communication Center is the “brain” of the Jeep Assembly Plant. It covers an area of 11,000 m2 at the center of the plant, where each phase of production terminates. All critical areas in the production process can be reached on foot from this central area, right through to the finished vehicles at the end of the assembly line. This layout enables rapid decision-making, efficient organization of the plant and optimized information flows. The Communication Center consists of the Component, Process and Vehicle Centers in addition to an open plan office space.

Inside the Communication Center

Component Center

​​​In the Component Center, supplier parts and components are tested in real time. Quality testing of on-site stamping and welding is also performed in this area. The target is perfect components with “zero tolerance”.

Inside the Communication Center

Process Center

The Process Center contains a miniature version of the assembly line that is used to test processes and train workers on the WCM system. Future team leaders also undergo training in the Process Center.

Inside the Communication Center

Vehicle Center

The Vehicle Center is where assembled vehicles undergo testing. The area also provides training and certification for personnel from Jeep dealerships.​​

Inside the Communication Center

Open Workspace

The open workspace area, which has a flexible configuration, was designed to improve integration between manufacturing personnel and people from other areas of the business, by increasing personal contact and reducing correspondence and meetings.

Inside the Communication CenterInside the Communication CenterInside the Communication CenterInside the Communication Center

World Class Manufacturing

Continuous improvement, process efficiency and focus on quality are essential elements of the Goiana plant’s operating model. They are based on the cultural and operational revolution introduced by WCM, the manufacturing system adopted at FCA facilities worldwide. The plant itself was also designed and built according to the principles of WCM.

With its innovative layout – from the Communication Center, which functions as the operational epicenter of the plant and facilitates rapid decision-making and problem-solving, to the integrated on-site supplier park – the Jeep complex in Goiana represents the most modern and efficient implementation of WCM within the FCA Group.

WCM ensures the best man-machine interaction and continuous improvement in processes. In total, more than 15,000 best practices developed at FCA plants around the world have been adopted at the Jeep Assembly Plant.​