Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Truck Plant Body Shop Now Features Flexible Manufacturing
Ford Motor Company is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. It is one of world's largest automakers, with approximately 318,000 employees in 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Quality Care and Hertz. Ford Motor Company observed its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003.
Ford Motor Company has announced that they shall be investing $300,000 in a 240,000-square-foot, flexible body shop expansion at Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
"This has been a tough, but gratifying year in manufacturing for Ford. We've transformed our plants to bring more products, faster to our customers," said Matt DeMars, Ford vice president, Vehicle Operations. "Our goal is to build stability and standardization into our North American assembly and stamping plants, which is what flexible and lean manufacturing is all about."
Ford has had a wonderful year in terms of sales and productions. Plus, they have launched a record number of vehicles previous year and would like to sustain rhythm for 2005. They are now doing well in trying to meet their previously stated commitment of infusing flexible manufacturing into 75% of its body manufacturing shops, trim and final assembly operations by end of this decade. Flexibility in body shops is most crucial component of flexible manufacturing due to complexity and cost of operation involved. Ford’s innovative flexible body shop system requires less expenditure than both time-honored methods of traditional body shops and other devised flexible manufacturing systems.
With lasts year’s successful sales and production, Ford is hard pressed to surpass impressive numbers they have previously posted. At start of 2004 Ford launched an onslaught with production of F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant; Ford GT at Wixom Assembly Plant; Escape Hybrid at Kansas City Assembly Plant; Ford Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mercury Montego in Chicago; Mercury Mariner at Ohio Assembly Plant; and Ford Mustang at AutoAlliance International. Ford plans to be just as aggressive to maintain if not surpass same numbers as preceding sales year.
DeMars credits their highly successful launches to Ford Company’s focus on quality; their well planned processes and to their manpower. The people behind manufacturing of their vehicles are heart of whole operation. "We are committed to getting our launches right. We know that a strong launch is critical to a vehicle's success," he said. "The Ford Production System, our Launch Quality Operating Systems and our Safety Leadership Initiative are important tools in our manufacturing system."
The aforementioned Michigan Truck Plant produces Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. This particular plant employs more than 3,000 hourly employees. The addition of flexible body plant will certainly expand production capabilities of plant. Details on future products that maybe produced on truck plant will be announced at a future date.