Inside the Factory That Builds the Jeep Wrangler
Photo Credit: Jeep
Ever wanted to know exactly where and how Jeep Wranglers are made? One factory that creates the magic of the iconic Jeep Wrangler is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio. With over 5,600 employees, the Toledo Assembly Complex is one of the largest automotive factories of FCA. At the Toledo factory, the team is responsible for building the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Jeep Cherokee models. This team cranks out an astonishing 50 Jeep vehicles an hour! Let’s dive into their progress and impact on the Jeep process of making these wonderful off-road vehicles.
How Are These Jeep Vehicles Made?
With over 32 years of producing Jeep vehicles, the 4×4 vehicles are made by the blood, sweat, and tears of a dedicated team in a building that spans 3.65 million square feet. Two different shifts take place each work day as they assemble the landmark vehicles one after another. The work begins at the body shop where a robot handles the process of moving the doop of a Jeep Wrangler to the laser welder. While this is going on, multiple robot arms will weld the frame. The next process involves robots moving the parts to the paint shop where the first coat of paint is added. Paint shop robots will also apply a clear coat that protects the paint. The Wrangler will then have a buffer to wax the vehicle and remove imperfections by the machine.
Further Down the Line
The next step is the Wrangler moves to general assembly where employees are now involved in helping the engine move from a carrier using a hydraulic arm. Employees will lower the engine into the chassis of the Jeep. A single employee will add the iconic Jeep badge and Wrangler decal to the vehicle. The chassis is set on a carrier that rotates to provide access for the roof of the Wrangler. This produces the most ergonomically friendly workspace for employees. An employee connects a header panel, the frame that the headlights and the grille are attached to, while another worker tightens the mirror mounting bracket.
Then a robotic arm elevates the Wrangler chassis and sets it on a separate part of the line. Jeep says the arm weighs 3000 pounds with a reach of near 12 feet and works more effectively than conveyor system. The body then travels downward, another robot equips the front windshield with urethane. This will enable the windshield to attach to the chassis. Another robot holds the windshield and drives it into the chassis. A lone employee accurately operates the instrument panel around the metal frame and connects it at the front of the Wrangler. The next step involves an employee that will place the iconic seven-slot grille neatly on the vehicle.
Final Stages of Assembly
From there, the body and chassis deck station is where the Wrangler body is coupled to the frame. An employee uses an ergonomic arm to carry a hardtop roof for a Wrangler to a battery-powered, autonomous cart. This automated guided vehicle (AGV) does a lot of the hefty lifting. It can travel up to 150 feet per minute and are accurate within a quarter of an inch of their mark. This AGV will taxi the hardtop to the line, where another employee is anticipating to capture the hardtop roof and place it securely on the body.
Lastly, an employee uses a hydraulic arm to lightly place a door on the Wrangler. Wheels are then raised onto studs and on to the chassis. A robot with a five-pronged wrench twists the lug nuts into place. The Jeep Wrangler is now fully constructed and goes off for a closing wash. Employees then will handle the final product, the brand new Jeep Wrangler off the factory floor to where it will be moved to a dealership, like Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
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