2017 General Motors Company - Engine Quality Team Project


The Challenge:
To prepare for the increased complexities of electric propulsion systems, GM set an aggressive quality certification for its eight North American gas engine plants to achieve by the end of 2017. One component of this certification is an ambitious reduction in the percentage of engines shipped that experience problems when subsequently built into vehicles at GM’s North American vehicle assembly plants. GM partnered with a Tauber team to analyze defect information in all eight North American engine plants for commonalities and contrasts, and to then leverage the subsequent findings to identify opportunities for quality improvement.

The Solution:
The Tauber team discovered an absence of plant-to-plant visibility in the defect resolution process and determined that current information-sharing practices and infrastructure were incapable of facilitating such crossplant analysis. To address this issue, the team developed a centralized tracking system that consolidates engine defect information from the eight North American engine plants and includes problem identification, root causes, and corrective actions. The Tauber team successfully piloted the tracking system at three of GM’s manufacturing facilities.

Read the 2017 General Motors Company - Engine Quality Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Ryan Anderson - Master of Business Administration
Peter Paquet - EGL (Dual BSE-CSE and BSE-DS Engin & MSE-CSE)

Project Sponsor:
Robert Geist - Shop Director Engines and Transmissions

Faculty Advisors:
Jeff Alden - College of Engineering (Technical Fellow, General Motors)
Jill Schloff - Ross School of Business

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 General Motors Company - Engine Quality Team
2017 General Motors Company - Engine Quality Team