In the fourth quarter of 2006, Chrysler LLC sought a replacement of the supplier for the 62TE transmission underdrive tapered roller bearing (TRB) set, and General Bearing Corporation (GBC) responded with a low cost solution. Though the development time was compressed, GBC successfully met the target production start date in the fourth quarter of 2007. The Chrysler LLC 62TE transmission is assembled at the Kokomo Indiana Transmission plant (KTP), and is currently used in the Chrysler Minivans, Pacifica, Journey, Sebring and Avenger models. The 62TE underdrive unit is assembled by MSM, a division of Magna Corp.
As the full service bearing supplier, GBC coordinated the changeover process and now supplies two cups and one of the cones to MSM in Ontario, while the other cone is supplied directly to KTP to complete the two bearing set. This project required the involvement of multiple parties from each customer as well as GBC. Both customers have their own processes for Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), which required tracking, coordination and implementation of multiple systems at GBC. In addition, GBC introduced a program management position specifically for this project to coordinate all of the groups involved. GBC now manages the supply of these components in lean packaging to MSM and returnable containers to KTP.
This is a GBC Special TRB in that it has a very low torque-to-turn specification. The size is also unique in that the roller diameter is very close to the roller length due to the packaging constraints inside the transmission. The bearing was validated on GBC-designed bench tests, Chrysler dynamometer tests and Chrysler vehicle tests before it was introduced for production. GBC spent a considerable amount of time supporting the Chrysler transmission plant during the changeover process. This project, from its initiation to its successful implementation, required significant coordination between GBC and both customers.