Last week the MDEV interns got the unique opportunity of visiting the General Motors Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh. We started the day with a safety briefing led by Bill Tiger, the White Marsh GM plant manager. Bill then shared some successful business methods and impressive accomplishments before touring us around the manufacturing floor, so we could see where the magic happens!
This plant broke ground in 1999, opened in December of 2000 and since has gained quite the reputation. Its team-based business approaches keep production efficiencies strong, and its many green initiatives distinguish its energy management.
This plant is completely land-fill free, with zero of its waste depositing into landfill. Instead, all waste here is reused, recycled, or converted to “waste energy”. GM Baltimore Operations also excels in solar energy use, earning it the reputation of being the General Motors leader in the automotive sector for using solar energy, with 5,100 solar panels on the roof of the original plant building and solar panel canopy car charging stations.
All of the interns were amazed to learn that the environment conservation didn’t stop there. The White Marsh plant also celebrates their Wildlife Habitat Certification where fifth grade students from Chapel Hill Elementary helped plant 200 trees while learning about recycling, hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles. Getting children involved to learn about the importance of environment conservation and electrically powered vehicles is crucial to the future of the industry.
Finally, Mr. Tiger took us out on the floor where we were able to see first hand where the parts are made. We got to see the plant’s main product- the A1000 (Allison 1000), which is a 6-speed automatic transmission that goes into heavy duty pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
Soon we made our way to the “eMotor” section of the plant. Here we saw how parts of an electric motor-stator (stationary part) and rotor (rotating part)- are assembled by both human hands and robots. From Bill’s guidance we learned that the robots help with repetitive movements that can lead to fatigue of muscles and health problems, while humans can assist with steps requiring more problem-solving attentiveness with the ability to see and feel the product. The robots are also able to efficiently repeat highly technologically advanced steps in manufacturing and help with heavyweight products.
All in all this was an exciting experience for all of us that we were very grateful to have had. Well-done, guys!