Manufacturing AUTOMATION

New Shanghai Cadillac plant features 386 robots

January 21, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Jan. 21, 2016 – General Motors (GM) has opened a Cadillac factory at its SAIC-GM joint venture in Shanghai, China, today to produce the CT6 luxury sedan.

According to the automaker’s representatives, the “flexible and intelligent state-of-the-art” 8 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) manufacturing facility will have an annual production capacity of 160,000 vehicles. The plant includes a body shop, a paint shop, a general assembly shop, a high-speed test track and auxiliary facilities.

The advanced manufacturing technologies and processes employed in the new plant’s three shops include:

• Body Shop: Two fully automated production lines – one steel and the other aluminum – with 386 robots. The shop has also adopted GM’s mixed material welding technologies. They include resistance spot welding of aluminum (a global first on the CT6, it says), laser brazing of aluminum (a Chinese industry first), and use of the cold body connection process that uses self-tapping screws and self-pierce rivets.

• Paint Shop: The paint shop utilizes robots to fully apply paint and coating. Technologies and processes, including membrane pretreatment, electrophoretic coating with high throwing power, second colour coating and transparent colour coating boast a translucent finish.                                                                                

• General Assembly Shop: The flexible and intelligent general assembly shop supports the production of up to seven models simultaneously. The digital assembly facility has incorporated the Internet of Things (IoT) system, which can monitor torque information for every key fastening point.


“This is another major milestone for Cadillac in its second-largest market,” said GM executive vice president and president of GM China, Matt Tsien. “Local production will enable us to satisfy growing demand for luxury vehicles through the introduction of more Cadillac models built in and for China.”

Cadillac says the factory serves as a “green” benchmark for vehicle manufacturing globally, as it says it is the only facility of its kind in China without a concrete chimney. The spray booth exhaust treatment system and dry venturi scrubbers make the shop nearly 300 per cent cleaner than conventional paint shops, it says, with significantly reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and power consumption. The general assembly shop likewise introduced an automatic exhaust collection and pumping system that substantially increases exhaust collection, it notes.

The factory will begin producing the Cadillac CT6 next week.

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