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Ford India’s executive director Tom Chackalackal welcomes the school children to the plant
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 Ford India Plant Tour Enthralls Primary School Students

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CHENNAI, India —Sixth Grade students from Vidya Mandir @ Estancia, Potheri, were given an opportunity last week that few children rarely have: a tour of the neighbouring Ford manufacturing facility at Maraimalai Nagar.
Children are rarely admitted inside Ford India’s manufacturing facility due to safety considerations, but Ford India’s executive director, Manufacturing, Tom Chackalackal made an exception for the sixth graders after a special request from their school principal.
A group of young and enthusiastic Ford College Graduates (FCGs) volunteered to chaperon the kids during the tour,  which not only allowed them to see how cars are made, but also learn about Ford’s rich heritage and pioneering innovations such as the moving assembly line.
After an introduction from Chackalackal, Arthur Devadawson, general manager, Body Shop, took the students through a visual presentation.  
Devadawson, who modified his usual plant tour presentation, used the analogy of manufacturing shirts to make the car manufacturing process easier to understand for the visitors.
“Like the tailor cuts the cloth in pieces, we cut the steel sheets into pieces as per exact measurements in blanking and stamping. At body shop, they are welded together to create the car’s body, paint is where the sheets are dyed in various colours, and as the tailor stitches on buttons and pockets we have Trim, Chassis and Finish (TCF) where we put on various parts and accessories on the cars,” he said.
The children had also done their own homework, instantly recognizing photographs of Henry Ford and the Model T, and were able to identify all Ford models currently produced in India. The kids started on the blanking and stamping line, where they stood in awe of the huge cranes and heavy and noisy presses, moved on to body shop before finishing at TCF.  “I find it fascinating to learn that there are so many processes and people involved in the making of cars,” said Sanjana, one of the students.
The children were also shown a short movie on how Henry Ford revolutionised manufacturing by pioneering the moving assembly line.
“We roll out a car every 90 seconds and it takes about 18 hours to manufacture each car,” said Devadawson in response to a question. “I will ask my mum to buy the EcoSport now,” quipped one student after she spotted the prototype at the plant.
“We found this tour very informative indeed and the knowledge gained by students will be helpful when they create a model of the car plant as a school project,” said Jayashri Venkat, one of their teachers.
 “We are happy to provide this learning opportunity to students and proud to showcase Ford’s rich manufacturing heritage. Children do have an important say in the cars their parents buy and I am sure this exposure has made them aware of the great cars we make,” said Chackalackal.
 
Children troop in a neat row accompanied by their teachers and FCGs for the tour 
Children taken through various floors during the plant tour 
   
A prototype of the EcoSport generated a lot of excitement among the kids
 
   
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12/19/2012 8:25 PM