When General Motors [fortune-stock symbol=”GM”] makes a die for one of its enormous stamping presses that turns sheet metal into auto parts, each die first must be fine-tuned and validated. Otherwise, the resulting parts could be malformed.
Instead of testing dies on the very presses that stamp the parts, GM is changing its process to tweak them in advance — on a new $124 million press, dedicated for that purpose. Quality and efficiency are expected to improve as a result.
The new press, operating at a factory in Pontiac, Mich., represents a small part of the $5.4 billion that GM is plowing into U.S. manufacturing over the next three years. The No. 1 U.S. automaker announced the investment Thursday, having already invested $16.4 billion just in the U.S. since emerging from bankruptcy protection in 2009.
The latest outlay includes $520 million to retool the Delta Township assembly plant…
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