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AutoDCP Case Study


Tower Automotive Project

Tower Automotive is a large Tier 1 automotive supplier whose products include body structures and assemblies, suspension modules and systems, Class A surfaces and modules, and lower vehicle structures. Tower’s customers include Daimler Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda and Nissan. Tower has over 70 locations in four continents employing over 16,000 and annual revenues of over $2.5 billion.

Al Lawson is the Quality Leader at Tower who has the responsibility for the GMX 320 program from General Motors. This important undertaking marked the first time Tower had been awarded the job of assembling the front suspension module and powertrain dress module then marrying the 2 modules together for a GM vehicle. The project is of strategic importance to Tower as an important opportunity to prove Tower’s capabilities for this type of large modular assembly.

Al had previous experience with other PPAP software such as MPACT. After seeing a demonstration of AutoDCP software in late 2000, Al viewed the decision to use this software on his project as academic. Al began using AutoDCP on the GMX 320 in December, 2000 starting with his process flow and process fmea. In February 2001, GM imposed a deadline on Al’s team to have the control plan for the GMX 320 completed by March 15, 2001. Al’s process at this point included 3000 characteristics to be addressed in this control plan.

On Feb. 21, 2001 Al made a request of CDS to help him with the deadline looming on the control plan. At Al’s request, CDS accelerated development of the AutoDCP command language and committed to have the enhancement ready for Al to test within 2 weeks. On Mar. 7, 2001 CDS installed the enhanced version on Al’s machine for testing and use. On Sat., Mar. 10, 2001 Al Lawson called CDS President Jim Crenshaw to inform him that he had just completed his font size 6, 106 page control plan in 2.5 hours using the new AutoDCP feature.

Al has been freed to address the other challenges of the GMX 320 program without the PPAP process being an issue he has to worry about. AutoDCP has just completely eliminated the exhaustive effort that otherwise would have been required. At a minimum the development time for completion of control plan documentation has been reduced by 75-80% through the use of AutoDCP. This frees up resource time for developing other Quality System documentation in this new facility.



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