SAARLOUIS, Germany – Next year, Dieter Schmidt celebrates 45 years of working for Ford. However, at the beginning of this year, there was already cause for celebration when he proved that experience really does pay off.
At Ford’s manufacturing facility in Saarlouis, a defect in the idler gear and the all-wheel transmission caused press 73 (constructed in 1966) to come to a grinding halt. Management estimated it would take three to four months to manufacture new spare parts and repair the moulding press. As a result, at least one set of tools would have to have been transferred to Cologne.
It was then that Schmidt, who has been working in the press shop maintenance department for 40 years, came to the rescue. He remembered a company that had taken over some Ford moulding presses more than ten years ago. These moulding presses were identical in design to construction line 73.
The company's headquarters in St. Wedel was immediately contacted, and a team led by Schmidt was sent there in order to find suitable spare parts. The search proved to be successful and, using the spare parts, it was possible to repair moulding press 73 within two weeks without having to transfer any tooling.
Karl-Heinz Gläske, Head of Press Shop and Tool Construction, expressed his thanks to the "employee of the quarter": "Our sincerest thanks to Dieter Schmidt for his initiative, which has saved our company time and money."