Studebaker’s Machine Shop covered over nine acres and turned rough castings and forgings into finished parts. Many of the processes were handled by automated machinery.
Engine blocks, for example, travelled through a series of machines that milled and finished mating surfaces and drilled and tapped over 100 holes. Each process required exacting tolerances – some down to .0002 inches (two ten-thousandths of an inch, or 1/30 the thickness of a human hair.) Certain components, such as pistons and piston pins, were assembled in climate controlled rooms to ensure consistent quality.
Engine assembly also took place in this building. Once completed, engines were fired on a test stand and run under their own power. Any necessary adjustments were completed before the engines were sent to the final assembly lines.
About this Series
A Trip Through The Studebaker Factory was on display at the Museum in 2012. This series of articles comes for the displays from that exhibition.