FORD TRAINS THOUSANDS OF KANSAS CITY ASSEMBLY PLANT WORKERS TO SUPPORT UPCOMING F-150 PRODUCTION
by Staff Report
Ford rolls out an intensive training program to prepare skilled trades and production workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to produce the all-new F-150 pickup – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – through innovative manufacturing process
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 24, 2015â€“ Since May 2013, more than 8,000 skilled trades and production workers at Fordâ€™s Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant have undergone an intensive training program to support production of the all-new Ford F-150 â€“ the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever.
The production training program was designed to support F-150â€™s innovative manufacturing process, which incorporates the latest in advanced materials and forming and joining technologies, including a cutting-edge riveting operation system versus conventional welding.
Totaling more than 400 hours of in-class and hands-on courses, the skilled trades program covers everything from installing and configuring new equipment for the production line to constructing the truckâ€™s advanced electrical control system.
â€śThrough this program, we have armed both our skilled trades and production workers with the skills necessary to produce the next generation of vehicle technology,â€ť said Aris Janitens, Ford Launch Planning and Work Force Readiness manager. â€śOur workers now are able to deal with the latest in automotive manufacturing technology and, as a result, keep production on schedule to deliver best-in-class, quality trucks to our customers.â€ť
A unique element of the overall program is the â€śtrain the trainerâ€ť model, in which the workers become subject matter experts on the new equipment, enabling them to train the crew they work with on a daily basis.
The new manufacturing process called for the overhaul of both Dearborn Truck and Kansas City Assembly facilities. Dearborn Truck saw its largest manufacturing transformation in decades wherein legacy manufacturing equipment was replaced with the latest in production technology, including:
New press lines to help stamp four different types of aluminum alloys that assist with light-weighting the vehicle cab and box
New hydroforming lines to use fluid pressure to form metal tubes into structurally strong support rails
New chemical and heat treat area for corrosion resistance and material hardening results in stronger, more durable materials
Implementation of a closed-loop aluminum recycling system process in which all aluminum assembly scrap is collected and sorted so it can be used again in new F-150s â€“ a process that saves energy and lowers cost
Investment in 500 new robots in the all-new body shops to conduct state-of-the-art joining technology, resulting in a tougher, more durable truck
Updated paint shops with dirt detection technology and increased automation for more durable paint application