* Ewasyshyn overseeing major shift in manufacturing strategy
"I want to accept this award on behalf of all of the men and women I have worked with in the Manufacturing organization at the Chrysler Group," said Ewasyshyn. "Every product we work on is truly a team effort -- from our outstanding employees on the plant floor to our management team. But the biggest challenges are still in front of us."
"Frank has demonstrated leadership in his transformation of Chrysler Group Manufacturing operations," said June Ni, Director of the S.M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center at the University of Michigan. "He also values the importance of the industry/university partnership to advance manufacturing science and practice."
The Wu Manufacturing Leadership Award was established to recognize the importance of manufacturing leadership and its impact on both the advancement of the manufacturing industry and on the improvement of quality of life.
Ewasyshyn has been an engineer for over 28 years at the Chrysler Group. In his current role, he is engineering significant improvements within the Company's Manufacturing operations. Among those improvements are changes to plant floor workplace models -- changes that will foster greater creativity and flexibility in the assembly process by increasing the support of assembly line operators.
At the same time, Ewasyshyn is overseeing the implementation of a new, flexible manufacturing strategy that will give Chrysler Group plants the ability to produce multiple models on a single assembly line. The strategy is being implemented using a number of state-of-the-art processes including flexible robotics.
"Frank has proven that he is the right person to lead Chrysler Group's Manufacturing operations, and the right person to receive this special recognition," said Chrysler Group Chief Operating Officer Tom LaSorda. "He has the ability to bring people together to identify innovative approaches that increase quality while improving productivity. Those attributes are demonstrated in the successful production of our Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge vehicles."
According to the 2005 Harbour Report on automotive manufacturing efficiency, the Chrysler Group made a 19 percent improvement in productivity over the last three years, leading the industry. The company improved productivity 4.2 percent in the last year alone. In addition, five of Chrysler Group's plants lead their segments in productivity.
In April of this year, Ewasyshyn was inducted into the Shingo Prize Academy in recognition of his achievements in the pursuit of lean, world-class manufacturing.
Ewasyshyn was appointed Executive Vice President of Manufacturing for the Chrysler Group in May 2004. He is responsible for all assembly, stamping, and powertrain manufacturing operations, totaling more than 30 facilities worldwide.
Ewasyshyn joined Chrysler Corporation in 1976 as a Maintenance Foreman. His technical expertise and experience in the field of robotics have contributed significantly to the company's successful efforts to add quality, flexibility and efficiency to its manufacturing operations.
Known symbolically as "The Camel Award," the camel was selected to represent the award because of the animal's courage, perseverance, resourcefulness and sense of direction in a harsh environment -- the same leadership characteristics that a recipient must exemplify in his/her own company.
Past winners are Richard Shoemaker, Vice President of United Auto Workers; Fujio Cho, President of Toyota Motor Company; Donald Runke, Delphi Corp. vice chairman and Chief Technology Officer; Hiroyuki Yoshino, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co.; Gary Cowger, General Motors vice president for Manufacturing and Labor; Joseph Day, former chairman, president and CEO of Freudenberg-NOK; and Robert Lutz, former president of Chrysler Corp. and vice chairman of GM North American Operations.
THE SHIEN-MING WU FOUNDATION
The Shien-Ming Wu Foundation, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. was formed in 1993 in memory of the late Professor Shien-Ming Wu, who devoted his life to the research and teaching of manufacturing science and engineering. During his career of more than 30 years, he made extraordinary contributions to the manufacturing industry and academics, mentoring over 200 doctoral and master's students. Today, approximately one-quarter of the active faculty in the area of manufacturing engineering in the U.S. trace their educational lineage to Professor Wu.