Question for John Z:
Were the press set ups for say running a quarter panel run with same setup and for the same part for an entire production year? Or were they changed occasionally to run different parts? I know some of these setups had as many as 6 presses to make one part. How long would a setup take? Had to have been quite a while.
I have seen the video of parts stamping for the new Camaro where the setup is changed for a different part in 5 minutes or so without a human involved. Amazing. I know where a lot of the automotive jobs have gone. To technology.
In the 60's, a decent tandem press line could get about 4 strokes per minute at peak efficiency, running one part, and a die change from one part to another typically took 25-30 people about two shifts. Norwood and Van Nuys together needed about 6,000 per week of each part, and that quantity of each part took at least three shifts to produce.
It was very rare to have a single press line dedicated to a single stamping, except for very high-volume products (like Chevrolet "B"-body, which was built at 6,000 per day in eleven assembly plants). Chevrolet "B"-body stampings had two sets of dies - one set ran internally in Chevrolet stamping plants, and a second indentical set ran in outside stamping plants owned by the Budd Company.
Modern tri-axis transfer presses (Komatsu, Verson, Schuler, etc.) can run 12-16 strokes per minute, running two parts at a time (usually RH and LH), and a die change from one pair of parts to another pair takes two people about 4-6 minutes.