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|From General Motors
The Tonawanda Engine Plant
About Tonawanda Engine: Tonawanda Engine currently produces the Ecotec 2.0L Turbo (Wards Top 10 List Winner) and 2.5L (4-cyl.) engines for the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala, the Buick Regal and the Cadillac ATS and CTS. The plant recently launched an all-new family of engines – EcoTec3 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8 and 6.2L V8 engines, for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Pickup Trucks, and most recently announced Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs. The plant is also the exclusive provider of the standard 6.2L LT1 V8 engine for the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The Corvette and the Silverado are the 2014 Car and Truck of the Year Award Winners.
GM Powertrain Tonawanda Engine Plant #5, 240 Vulcan Road, Buffalo, NY 14207
GM Powertrain Tonawanda Engine Plant #4, 2390 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207
Including the above 2010 announcements, GM has invested $2.3 billion into Tonawanda Engine over the past decade
Step One: Engine blocks made at a foundry in Saginaw Michigan are machined into the main frame of the engine:
WBEN photo/Dave Debo
In a second series of operations, lathe-like machines refine the raw crankshafts from the foundry into a precision auto part- shaving 10 pounds of metal off the original piece.
Crankshaft before in foreground, after in back (WBEN photo/Dave Debo)
and the most labor intensive part of the operation installs the crankshaft into the engine block and adds everything from a head gasket to an oil pan, using a mix of manual labor and specialized, uniquely calibrated tools.
WBEN photo/Dave Debo
It also helps the various robots in the plant to identify the product and do what's required-- cutting down on the set up and tear down time that would otherwise be required if the equipment had to be re-programmed each time the line starts to work on another engine size or type.
The Next Big Thing
Cutaway rendering of the all-new LT4 supercharged V8 engine for the 2015 Corvette Z06. Seen in the rendering is componentry that makes the new engine one of the most technologically advanced V8s in the industry including an advanced supercharger, direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), continuously variable valve timing and a variable displacement oil pump.
The engine will be built by the Tonawanda Engine Plant beginning at the end of this summer. GM photo
A WBEN Photo Album
Click through our pictures at left
Hear a Tour of the Plant Friday morning on air on Buffalo's Early News.
Hear WBEN's Susan Rose, with Dave Debo and a recap of the plant tour
On Air Friday: Buffalo's Early News In-Depth
What is the role of manufacturing in WNY? What changes and challenges has GM faced at Tonawanda and elsewhere?
HEAR Labor & Manufacturing Expert Art Wheaton of the Worker Institute at Cornell with WBEN's Susan Rose and Dave Debo.
A conversation in four parts
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV