Detroit Plant Tour - Virtual Tour

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With every heavy-duty engine and integrated powertrain component we build, we add to the Detroit legacy of high performance, long-lasting solutions that drive the vehicles that drive commerce. This virtual tour is merely a preview of what you would see during an actual tour of our facility.

Welcome Center

Welcome Center

We are proud of the full line of engines, axles, transmissions, safety systems, and telematics solutions that Detroit offers the marketplace. At the Welcome Center, visitors can not only see up-close and personal models of all of our components, but they can also purchase merchandise so they can represent Detroit even after they leave the plant.

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Gear Up, With Detroit™

Gear Up, With Detroit™

Want to sport some cool Detroit gear? When you visit our plant, you can check out our entire closet-worth of branded polos, t-shirts, outerwear and caps for him and her at this kiosk. We also have Detroit glassware, tumblers and one-of-a-kind gift ideas. You can also shop our swag online at www.demanddetroitgear.com/.


The Ultimate Safety Assurance

Through use of a radar and optional camera system, the Detroit Assurance™ suite of safety systems provides optimum on-road safety. Detroit Assurance includes Active Brake Assist to prevent collisions, Adaptive Cruise Control to maintain safe vehicle distances, and Lane Departure Warning to alert drivers of unintended lane changes. Detroit originally launched Detroit Assurance 2.0 in 2014, and then released an upgraded version, Detroit Assurance 4.0, in 2016.

See The Ultimate Safety Assurance Brochure.

Video: I am Detroit

Our Promise

Founded in 1938, Detroit manufactures its best-in-class engines, axles and transmissions in this 3-million square foot facility. We don’t rush any product to market. The Detroit development process is twice as long as the industry average. We take the time to get things right the first time. When you invest in Detroit™ products, you can be certain they will perform as promised.


Our Legacy

Our Legacy

The Series 60 was originally developed in 1987 to meet the growing demand for fuel-efficient, heavy-duty engines.


Advance to the Detroit™ DD5™

Advance to the Detroit™ DD5™

The Detroit™ DD5™ is the first medium-duty engine that Detroit has released to the marketplace, built upon the same sound principles and engineering that made the heavy-duty DD13®, DD15® and DD16® so successful. The most advanced engine technologies engineered today are showcased within the DD5. This next-generation, medium-duty engine delivers once-thought-impossible efficiency with relentless endurance, all while achieving industry-leading maintenance intervals for maximum uptime.

Video: 75 Years Bold
Truck Operating System -TOS- Area

Truck Operating System -TOS- Area

Welcome to our recently unveiled Truck Operating System (TOS) area. There’s no better way to get the full picture of how and why Detroit engineering works so perfectly together. That’s because, on display here, is North America’s only full-scale model of a truck’s powertrain as one complete, integrated unit.

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Excellence, From The Bottom Up

Excellence, From The Bottom Up

The Detroit Operational Excellence Pyramid gives you a snapshot into our organizational philosophy and process. Everything is built upon our four core values of passion, respect, integrity and discipline. Ultimately, it is these behaviors and beliefs that ensure we hone in on the ever-changing needs of our customers, and provide them with exceptional product solutions.


Life-Sized Excellence

The only full-scale model of its kind in North America, our Truck Operating System exhibit defines Detroit’s powertrain unit in one package, including front drive axle, engine, transmission, after treatment, rear axle and the Detroit Assurance™ suite of safety systems. By encouraging everyone in our plant to think holistically about quality, Detroit drives continuous improvement across all product lines.

View Powertrain Brochure


Let Us Be Your Guide

If you like this virtual plant tour, then you’ll love our live in-person tour, hosted by Pam Esshaki and her team of Detroit plant experts. Pam is a quality control engineer and has been at our plant for over 30 years. She’s been welcoming and guiding visitors to our Detroit plant for the past decade.

Customer Support Center

Customer Support Center

What is the benefit of having our Customer Support Center (CSC) in the same plant that manufactures your powertrain? Our engineers are right here for you, giving you 24/7 access to their exceptional expertise. They are all certified on the Detroit™ powertrain, so you can call in regarding any problem you encounter on the road. This is also the command center for the Detroit™ Connect suite of connected vehicle services.

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Customer Service Hot Line

Customer Service Hot Line

Video screens that count down from the two-minute mark are visible throughout our customer service center, to help ensure calls are answered within the required time. We pride ourselves on getting you on the phone with an expert from our team as fast as possible.


Powertrain Engineering

Powertrain Engineering

The Detroit plant houses our manufacturing facility as well as our engineers – maximizing the performance of our production lines and products. You will be hard-pressed to find another engineering team that works as closely to their product as ours.


Putting Our Heads Together

Among our dozens of customer service professionals are a wide variety of specialists, each with his or her own unique experience at answering questions and resolving issues. So our CSC is built to encourage collaborative knowledge-sharing and continuous learning. Our customer gets the best of our collective technical knowledge, as quickly as word travels over our purposefully lower cubicle walls.

Video: Virtual Technician
Video: Customer Support Center

Directors Directly Involved

Directors Directly Involved

Our directors’ offices have been designed with glass walls to encourage open communication and collaboration. Directors are often found sitting with team members, sharing their expertise and helping to address customer needs ASAP.


Real Time Responsiveness

Our CSC keeps up-to-the-moment tabs on our incoming customer call activity, assigned responsible parties, and the status of issues. It’s all part of our concerted effort between our customer service, warranty and engineering groups to ensure proactive problem solving and the fastest possible resolution for our customers. We are all dedicated to getting you back on the road!

DT12 Line

DT12 Line

Assembly and quality testing go hand-in-hand along the six distinct stations that make up our Detroit™ DT12™ transmission line. Quality metrics and validations are built in throughout to ensure everything from precise tooth engagement and thread engagement to proper press load during gear assembly. Our state-of-the-art transmission production technology and machining was innovated in Germany, and brought to Detroit in 2015.

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Leak Tight Test

Leak Tight Test

Here, air pressure and oil are used to ensure our assembled transmissions have no leaks. But wait, there’s more! Even after the computer says everything “checks out”, we continue to perform quality checks by manually disassembling a set number of transmissions on a regular basis for an added level of quality confirmation.


Power Take Off

Cement mixers, dump trucks and other vehicles that need moving parts in addition to their powertrain can now trust in Detroit™ transmissions equipped with Power Take Off (PTO) … a new offering in 2017 in partnership with Italy’s Hydropart®.

See DT12 Power Take Off Brochure


Gentle Giant

So monstrous we had to give it its own monster name: Godzilla is how we affectionately refer to the world’s largest one-piece robot, built specifically to lift our nearly fully-assembled, 620-pound transmissions and gently turn them on their side for the installation of crucial electronic components.


Give Me The Works

This single screen provides a complete snapshot of the DT12™ line in one centralized location. Its contents indicate the status of work at each individual station, to not only keep everyone up to speed on progress, but also indicate where faults need to be resolved. We constantly monitor these screens to make sure that the manufacturing line runs smoothly.

Transmission Dyno-Testing

Transmission Dyno-Testing

Detroit is the only manufacturer that “hot tests” 100% of its transmissions, which simulates driver on-the-road usage. Each transmission is “taught” to cycle through all its gears, and then testing is conducted to ensure the transmission performs all functions perfectly. That means every transmission that leaves our facility is literally tested “tried and true,” giving you remarkable piece of mind.

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Transmissions Ready To Roll

Our state-of-the-art dyno testing program stores manufacturing information into the “brain” of each of our transmissions. This allows us to always trace back to each transmission build, keeping our team and processes accountable. Then we hot test every possible transmission function, including reverse, ramping, railing and splits. When your transmission is delivered to you, you know it’s up for the job.

Video: 100% Tested
Turbo Line

Turbo Line

The serious torque of Detroit™ engines begins on our turbo line, where our engines are engineered to the utmost precision, built with state-of-the-art technology like our electron beam welder.

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Real Time Accountability

When a sensor goes off, alerts are transmitted to all responsible parties, in the facility and, via cellular, to our team that is all over the world. This ensures 100% accountability, all day every day.


Quality Control Simplified

Quality Control Simplified

Each turbo line employee operates three stations to simplify our processes around quality control. These employees are experts at what they do, and they take immense pride in building best-in-class products for you.


Relentless Robotics

Relentless Robotics

Our German-engineered robotics put our turbos through a grueling, high-RPM test to ensure they are road ready for anything.

New Detroit™ Axles

New Detroit™ Axles

Detroit's latest axle technology facilitates the use of faster axle ratios to support down-speeding, while our latest Axle Lubrication Management (ALM) system helps drive additional fuel-economy improvements. ALM also actively regulates oil level at the ring gear to reduce “churning”, reducing parasitic loss, to drive additional fuel economy benefits. (ALM is currently exclusively available in the new Freightliner Cascadia).

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Advanced Automation

Our advanced German-engineered automation, including electron beam welding, is key to producing the highest product quality and fuel efficiency in the business. Sixteen less bolts than our previous rear axle design shaves off significant dead weight.

Video: Axle Lubrication Management System
Video: Detroit Axles Quality Built In

The New Freightliner Cascadia®

The New Freightliner Cascadia®

Owners of the new Freightliner Cascadia® with Detroit axles will benefit from our brand-new advanced, harder working tandem rear axles, designed for the heaviest of duties.

Pinion Machining

Pinion Machining

Our manufacturing process is focused on quality and efficiency. Our pinion gears are dry cut and precision ground to produce quieter, longer-lasting axles. This machine completes a pinion gear in less than seven minutes – if done by hand, this task would take seven hours.

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Our Single Rear Axle

Our Single Rear Axle

Precision-engineered pinions are at the core of our high-performing Detroit™ axles. These pinions are for use in our both single and tandem rear axles. The precision of our cutting process defines the proper angle and pitch within the teeth of the ring gear and pinion, resulting in less gear wear and lower maintenance schedules. All of this leads to a longer life of the axle.


Our Recycling Efforts

Our Recycling Efforts

All of the scraps collected during the pinion machining process are melted down and recycled to lessen environmental impact and production costs.


The Right Bite

The Right Bite

During assembly, testing is performed to ensure proper tooth contact. Detroit ensures proper center for angle and pitch for every tooth on the ring gear and pinion. This results in greater durability and uptime.


Taking Extreme Measures

Taking Extreme Measures

All Detroit™ pinions are measured so just the right pitch and angle is achieved between components, ensuring longer life and uptime for you.

Video: Detroit Axles & Manufacturing
Block Machining

Block Machining

This is the beginning of the road for a Detroit™ engine. Each of these durable blocks will become one of the 390 Detroit engines our plant produces each day.

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Our Operations

Our Operations

This is one of the locations where our Head of Operations and his executive team review the production process four times a day. The data is constantly monitored by the systems network and support team who are immediately informed of any changes or concerns within the facility. This fast response time keeps our plant running smoothly.


Quality Gate

Quality Gate

This is another of five total quality checkpoints. Even after Detroit uses technology to validate high quality standards throughout the entire manufacturing process, we take quality control a step further and check again to validate the reliability of this manufacturing process.


Quality Gate

Detroit ensures that our machines and our people are crafting products to the highest standards. But that doesn’t slow us down—Detroit manufactures well over 300 engines daily.


Our Customers

Our Customers

Our engines don’t sit on shelves. Every engine you see throughout this tour is being manufactured to the order specifications of one of our valued customers. Once they leave the facility, they are destined for their new home under the hood of an exceptionally reliable truck.


Quality Gate

Even after the engine leaves the plant, Detroit keeps monitoring the performance to ensure the highest quality and efficiency out on the road. This reporting process ensures high customer satisfaction and enables continuous improvement.

Assembly Line

Assembly Line

Our skilled manufacturing team utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that your engine measures up to the Detroit quality you have come to expect from us.

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Video: Take A Ride On Our Assembly Line

Double Check Point

Our quality gates use a high level of technology to ensure our torque guns are working properly. And we don’t stop there! We perform additional quality checks with an expert eye to personally inspect that everything is in perfect order.

Quality Gate

Quality Gate

We use a variety of methods (both automated and human) to check the quality of our work. These consistent checkpoints provide us with valuable data to help make continuous improvements to our assembly processes.

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Other Quality Measures

Other Quality Measures

This is our Coordinate Measuring Machine room, another quality checkpoint that can be found in our plant. We examine 750 characteristics of the engine block to ensure that our machines and our people are crafting products of the highest standards.

Video: Our Quality Loop
Engine Dyno Testing

Engine Dyno Testing

We prove the performance of every single engine (at idle, rated, and peak torque) with our extensive hot testing, before it leaves the plant. We also validate the horsepower and fuel consumption, ensuring the best quality product for you.

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Our Performance Tests

Our Performance Tests

No engine leaves our facility without extensive performance testing.


Start Your Engines!

In our hot test area, we run our newly-assembled engines for twenty minutes. Every five minutes we perform a “jake” brake test to make sure proper communication is achieved with the engine.

Loading Dock

Loading Dock

We ship about 390 made-to-order engines every day. But before our products help drive the world economy, they’re shipped to Freightliner or Western Star truck manufacturing plants across North America. If you want one, place your order ASAP!

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An American-Born Company

An American-Born Company

Detroit is an American-born company producing world-class products. We are tremendously proud of our heritage and remain dedicated to keeping jobs in the US.

Video: Heritage and Milestones
Vehicle Pilot Center

Vehicle Pilot Center

We are committed to proving the quality of the Detroit product. The Pilot Center is where testing of engines, hardware and after-treatment systems take place. We test them on the road, in every operating cycle and under every conceivable condition. And then we go the extra mile – literally. We drive our products to the hottest and coldest parts of North America for real-world testing.

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Big Barometer

How serious are we about testing in real-world extreme climates and conditions? The world’s largest barometer is here in our very own plant … that’s some serious commitment!


Our Vehicle Pilot Center

Our Vehicle Pilot Center

We use a variety of real-world and simulated testing environments to ensure Detroit™ products will perform in virtually any situation.

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