General Motors Co. announced plans to invest a total of $20.5 million across three of its Customer Care and Aftersales parts distribution centers, located in Memphis, Tennessee, Ypsilanti, Michigan, and Burton, Michigan. The investments will be used to implement a variety of automation technology to modernize warehouse operations as GM prepares for industry growth and electric vehicle readiness, the company says.
“As we continue to invest in our workforce by modernizing our warehouse operations, implementing technology allows our organization to prepare for industry growth, especially as we expand for the electric vehicle future,” said John Roth, GM global vice president, customer care and aftersales. “Combining the talent of our workforce with new technology, we can help minimize ergonomic stressors and reduce the physically demanding work, which will help us prepare for increased demand as we support more vehicles on the road. It can also help increase order fulfillment speed and ensure our customers continue to receive the right part, at the right place, at the right time.”
General Motors says details of the individual investments include:
- Memphis Parts Distribution Center: The $14 million investment will be used to implement an automated parts storage and retrieval system. The system will allow Memphis to prepare for industry growth and the electric vehicle future as it is a distribution hub for Original Equipment ACDelco parts, EV chargers and supports GM’s newly launched eCommerce business. The system is scheduled to begin installation by June 2023 and expected to be operational by October 2023.
- Ypsilanti Processing Center: The $3 million investment will be used to implement robotic technology with powered conveyors to lift and palletize material. The system is scheduled to begin installation by October 2023 and expected to be operational by December 2023.
- Davison Road Processing Center: The $3.5 million investment will be used to implement automatic boxing machines which will create custom sized boxes to fit parts. The system is scheduled to begin installation by March 2023 and expected to be operational by April 2023.
“These investments will make the jobs of our members at Locals 2406 (Memphis, Tennessee), 174 (Ypsilanti, Michigan) and 651 (Burton, Michigan) safer and more secure,” said Mike Booth, UAW vice president and director of the General Motors Department. “This is happening because UAW members have a proven record of skill, experience and quality that has contributed to the success of GM and CCA.”
At the Memphis Parts Distribution Center, GM says the technology is expected to increase storage capacity by 11%. The increased storage will allow for a greater number of parts to be processed. The technology will also reduce the amount of walking and lifting done by employees, as the parts and packages will now be brought to the employee located at a stationary work location.