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Author Topic: VIN # versus production line  (Read 2519 times)
jdv69z
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« on: January 14, 2009, 08:37:20 AM »

I know that cars were not  assembled by VIN no. That is, consecutive VIN's were not necessarily next to each other on the assembly line. What about the order no., eg my car's is NOR122144 on the trim tag. This was the order number generated when the order was placed by the dealer, correct? I'm assuming this number had nothing to do with assembly sequence?  Was there some other sequential number used for orders on the assembly line?

Jimmy V.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 10:55:20 AM »

The body number on the cowl tag was assigned when the plant accepted a dealer order for production; the dealer order number (which was pre-printed on the dealer's order blanks) didn't serve any direct purpose on the line in production, although it followed the car on all the Chevrolet paperwork (Broadcast Copy, window sticker, Car Shipper, etc.). The body number on the cowl tag showed up as the "Ident Number" in the top row on the Broadcast Copy, and also showed up in the upper right corner of the window sticker and Car Shipper. In the scheduling computer, that number tied the unit back to the specs on the Dealer Order.

When each body was scheduled out of the Chevrolet Body Bank to the beginning of the Chevrolet assembly system, it was assigned a "sequence number", which appears at the upper left corner of the Broadcast Copy - that's the exact sequence in which the car passed through the Chevrolet assembly system, and that was the important number as far as the plant was concerned while the unit was in the system; once the car came off the line, it was meaningless.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 03:17:30 PM »

John, in reading through your assembly process report again, it sounds like the VIN's were assigned sequentially as the body shells came from Fisher, but that then the Chevrolet side schedule person was able to re-arrange these shells for the Chevrolet assembly line according to that lines needs (eg parts availability, line balancing, etc.) This is the point where cars became assembled based upon "sequence number", and not in VIN order. Is that correct? IF so, how were the shells physically re-arranged to accomodate the Chevrolet assembly sequence? Was the "Body Bank" a place to stage and sort the shells much like the staging of engines or other parts that I saw in the 59 Impala photos? Then they could be introduced to the Chevrolet assembly line in the order the schedule person had defined, ie by sequence number?

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
JohnZ
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 12:13:28 PM »

Bodies were delivered from the Fisher side on a steel trim truck on wheels, and Chevrolet picked them up off the trim truck and transferred them to a "clamshell" carrier on an overhead power-and-free accumulating conveyor; the carrier was routed to the specified scheduling line in the body bank, and when it was scheduled out of the end of the bank, it was assigned its "sequence number" and was physically "locked in sequence" from there until it was driven off the end of the Final Line. Photos below show a typical unload from the overhead carrier to the Final Line flat-top conveyor (Corvair at Willow Run), and a Camaro in its carrier at Van Nuys, just prior to getting its wheels installed.



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jdv69z
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 04:23:11 PM »

Thanks for the explanation John. Amazing manufacturing. Even though VIN's were not sequential when introduced to the Chevrolet assembly line,  would it still be fair to assume that VIN's close in number were assembled relatively close together, a day or so or less? I'm trying to determine if my Z/28 ,VIN 516355, was assembled within a day or of VIN 515645, whose car shipper is the first one shown in Jerry's M's Book.

Jimmy V.
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Mark
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 05:45:09 PM »

The VINs were assigned sequentially when the bodys came thru from Fisher.  The Norwood plant could accomadate about 60 to 80 cars in its body bank so there could be some shuffling at that point, but essentially the cars came off the GM assembly line in VIN seqeuntial order plus or minus a few numbers (example 543210 might be followed by 543230 and might be behind 543220).

Your car is 710 VIN numbers from the one in Jerrys book, so it came off the line within 14 or 15 hours of that one (Norwood made 912 cars a day at capacity and worked two 8 hour shifts)).  Of course that car could have come off the line at 10 pm on one day and yours would have come off around 8 PM the next day, or that car could have come off at 8 am and yours would have come off the line at 10PM the same day.  Impossible to tell. 
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Mark C.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 11:51:57 AM »

Thanks Mark, That's what I was thinking. It's also interesting to me that the one in Jerry's book is equipped similar to mine. Different color.

Jimmy V
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Jimmy V.
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