MELBOURNE, Australia — Ford’s Vehicle Operations Manufacturing Engineering (VOME) team has gone further to improve efficiency through an upgrade of its wheel alignment facilities.
The APA VOME End of Line team, led by Dave Hildreth, combined new Mahle eCats software into Ford’s wheel alignment facilities, which helped optimise overall cycle time. In addition, it provides the engineers with a detailed insight into the task a vehicle is performing during each diagnostic stage.
Wheel Align facilities have traditionally used proprietary software for control, interface and data storage.
“These upgrades enable electrical testing of vehicles to be spread more efficiently across the Pre Delivery Area via software standardisation and distribution of tests into Wheel Align,” Hildreth said.
“Other benefits include the ability to remotely view and analyse Wheel Align data using a web-based reporting system such as Report Logiq.”
The new system also allows plants to run different calibration tests between facilities, allowing the testing of advanced vehicle features on a controlled level surface, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Aid, and Lane Departure Warning. Combined, these help with the further development of future vehicles.
Hildreth said the new system, which is now in place at the Broadmeadows plant in Australia, the Chongqing plant in china and the Rayong plant in Thailand, and will be introduced as the regional standard.