Chrysler’s training academy focused on reducing waste

Chrysler's training academy focused on reducing waste

Sarkis helped design the academy’s most successful cost-savings program – the slot-car track, which is used to help trainees tackle the problem of small equipment breakdowns that can cause major losses.

“When a piece of equipment is constantly breaking down, it’s death by a thousand cuts, bleeding millions and millions of dollars a year,” said Sarkis.

The problem was so common at the Windsor Assembly Plant that it would cost production of 15 to 20 vans a day.

“Something is happening, but in many cases, the problems are so small they’re not visible to the naked eye,” Sarkis said.

The slot-car track helps demonstrate the steps of micro-stoppages by having cars on the track and the track itself break down while racing. A high-speed camera captures the movements, helping participants see that there might be more to the breakdown than what is obvious.

“The camera catches all the little details that are happening,” Sarkis said. “We train people to look at the fine level of details that are going to let us solve the problem.”

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