This month we are featuring the work of the FAE team. BCE and Paint teams will be featured in July and August issues.
The VOME Final Assembly team is in the middle of a major facility overhaul of the previous Ford Escape Trim and Chassis system at Kansas City Assembly Plant (KCAP) to accommodate the new Transit vehicle.
Because of the increase in product size and offerings, the major facility conversion includes new vehicle processing systems, such as, Roll Test Machines, Alignment Machines, Glass Cell, Diesel and Urea Fill Equipment, Trim/Chassis conveyors, increased workstation length/height and a new Chassis to Body marriage loop.
In addition to size, the Transit commercial vehicle brings a high level of complexity to KCAP. With 3 primary body styles (Cargo Van, Bus and Chassis Cab), 4 roof heights (Low Roof, Medium Roof, High Roof and Chassis Cab), 5 wheelbases and both Single and Dual Rear Wheel options. The FAE team put significant time into the development of a cycle line layout that can meet the product option demands from Ford’s customers.
Jay Haubenstricker, Manufacturing Engineer leading the installation of the new Glass Cell said, “The challenge for us in the glass cell is the complexity of the glass sizes and shapes. We have 33 unique urethane bead paths, and our back-up cell has to be able to run all of them,” he continues, “A typical one-vehicle line plant has 4-7 unique paths. While dealing with high glass complexity, we have also made it a priority to keep the cells as simple as possible in order to promote a high Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and a low Mean Time to Repair (MTTR).”
According to Rick Bauer, Conveyor Engineer, FAE Conveyor team, one of the biggest challenges the FAE team faced while converting KCAP to accommodate the Transit is chassis carrier design, because of the product size and complexity.
“The carrier is designed to accommodate five wheel bases spread across vans, buses, and chassis cabs, each having specific processing requirements. The outcome is a carrier that is nearly 20’ long, 11’ wide, 7’ tall, and weighing over 2 tons,” Bauer said.
With the lead engineering center in Europe and manufacturing locations in Kocaeli (Turkey) and Kansas City, the FAE Transit team has worked on a Global scale to develop the manufacturing plan.
The above individual picture and quotes are just a part of the larger FAE team that is contributing to the work at KCAP. Several more individuals are actively driving the Facility and Tooling conversion to completion in support of the upcoming Tool Try-Out build.
Bringing Transit to North America will build on the existing strong performance that the product holds in Europe.The new model Transit will begin launching this year in both Kocaeli and Kansas City.