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PDAs Drive Mobility At GM Plant

March 7, 2007
New Michigan plant adopts wide-scale PDA deployment.

When automaker General Motors Corp. began production at its Lansing, Mich., Delta Township plant in May 2006, the company touted the facility as one of its most modern. And like most up-to-date plants, the Delta Township facility employs cutting-edge technology such as PDAs to improve efficiencies.

Delta Township has approximately 325 PDAs in use that are utilized for maintenance dispatch and production monitoring and control, says Kirk

Gutmann, global manufacturing and quality information officer for GM's information systems and services. For instance, the PDAs allow plant workers to monitor the location of machine tools and their performance without referring to a fixed board.

PDAs are being utilized at GM's new Lansing facility.

"It's pretty easy for an individual to be paged or notified if he has an issue," Gutmann explains. "He can look at whether maintenance needs to be dispatched, whether we have a machine tool down or whether there needs to be help."

As battery life and screen resolution improve, the use of PDAs on the plant floor should become more common over the next 12 to 18 months in manufacturing, he says.

GM is still in the process of determining payback from the PDAs but feedback from the plant floor has been positive, according to Gutmann.

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