Chrysler Group plans to invest $63 million at its Warren (Michigan) Stamping Plant to expand capacity for forming sheet-metal parts used to assemble several Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Truck models. The focus of the project is installing a 180-in., high-speed servo tandem press capable of producing approximately 3.6 million parts annually.

This new project raises Chrysler’s total capital investments in U.S. manufacturing operations to more than $5.3 billion since June 2009. Local authorities in Warren, Mich., approved the automaker’s tax-abatement request prior to its announcement.

Chrysler's new servo tandem press — the automaker did not identify any supplier for the new operation — is seen increasing the Warren Stamping Plant’s output while also reducing energy costs and maintenance requirements.  Chrysler further indicated that the new line would increase productivity by reducing the complexity of the forming process.

Already under construction, the new tandem press will consist of a series of stamping operations arranged as a sequence, in which a single die is positioned in each press as incremental forming steps produce the finished parts.

Once in operation, the press will be powered by servo drives that offer “100% programmable control and movement of the ram speed at any position in the press stroke, unlike a mechanical press that operates at a fixed speed,” according to Chrysler’s announcement.

Manufacturing on the new line is expected by December 2015, Chrysler stated.

Currently the Warren plant operates 15 press lines and produces 80 million parts annually.

Some of the parts produced there include hoods, roofs, lift gates, side apertures, fenders and floor pans for Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country SUVs, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee cross-overs, Dodge Dart sedans, and Ram trucks.

The finished parts are supplied to other Chrysler assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada.

“As production at our Chrysler Group assembly plants has nearly tripled in the past five years, we have been pushing our stamping facilities to keep up,” stated Mauro Pino, Chrysler Group vice president and head of Manufacturing. “This much-needed investment for a new press line will help us continue to meet demand and maintain the quality that our stamping plants have worked so hard to achieve.”