CHICAGO - Today, Ford celebrates the 100th anniversary of an innovation that has had a great impact on manufacturing, industry and society as a whole: the moving assembly line. Chicago Assembly Plant welcomed a group of local media for a tour this morning to help celebrate the milestone.
Chicago played a special role in the conception of the moving assembly line. In a visit to the Chicago Beef Stockyards over a century ago, Henry Ford was so intrigued by its disassembly operation that he brought the idea back to his plant in Highland Park, Michigan. This is where he reversed the process, and in 1913, created the moving assembly line to manufacture cars.
This new process drastically increased the pace at which Ford vehicles were produced and drove down the price of each car, making them more accessible to the masses.
Reasonably priced cars changed the modern world as more people were able to enjoy the freedom of mobility. Their goals and dreams were no longer limited by geography or affordability as Ford’s broader vision included a $5 workday – which meant that for the first time, workers could afford to buy the vehicles they built.
Henry Ford’s vision for the Company was to build great products that serve people and move the world forward… and that vision still guides us today. “His core principles – quality parts, continuous flow, division of labor and reducing waste remain the foundation of how we at Ford innovate with today’s advanced, flexible production system,” said Brent Merritt, Plant Manager, CAP, while addressing the media.
Ford began operating in Chicago in 1914 in another facility on Wabash and subsequently moved to the current location in 1924, making Chicago Assembly Plant Ford’s oldest assembly plant in North America still in operation.
In CAP’s first year of production almost 90 years ago, a little over 4,000 Model T’s were built. Today with about 4,000 employees, the plant is building a vehicle about every minute.
Today, Chicago Assembly Plant is proud to build the Ford Explorer, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor SUV.
“We were happy to have an opportunity to showcase our great products,” said Raul Vasquez, door fitter. “The 100th Anniversary of the moving assembly line was a fitting milestone to have an event today.”