FLAT ROCK, Mich. - The pony car is getting ready to head down the assembly line with AutoAlliance International (AAI) prepping for mass production of the 2013 Ford Mustang.
At this stage in the process, the Launch team at AAI has evaluated and prepared for new content such as the new hood, grille and headlights just to name a few.
They also have developed the build sequence, installed and validated the new tooling and facilities, and much more.
All new models built at Ford follow the Global Product Development System (GPDS) which looks to reduce product development costs, reduce lead time to market and improve initial product quality. In other words, GPDS efficiently creates new vehicle designs that exceed customer expectations.
AAI’s Launch team met with the manufacturing business office and the Product Development (PD) teams about three years ahead of the first pilot builds to review the 2013 Mustang model content and to develop budgets associated with launching the program.
“We have a lot of responsibilities, including workforce readiness, evaluating manufacturing feasibility, while managing the budgets,” said Gary Steward, Launch manager, AAI.
Early in the process, the team translated the engineering specifications of the new model into a Computer-Aided Design (CAD). The design showed how all the parts are expected to piece together, making it easier for the Launch team to detect what parts and at what points in the assembly process feasibility issues may occur.
In order to further prepare for mass production, three different, non-saleable, Mustang prototypes (X-1, M-1, Verification Prototype) were built at AAI. These prototype builds gave the teams their first attempts at building the entire vehicle while simultaneously developing and testing the build sequence.
Once the prototype phases were completed, tested and signed off, AAI’s Launch team began the detailed and extensive build sequences. Starting with the Tooling Trial (TT), the team tested the tooling and equipment readiness, and made sure that the building, facility and infrastructure modifications were completed.
Following the TT build was the Pilot Production (PP). The intent of PP is to show AAI’s readiness for the first phase of mass production while continuing to refine the build process. Then, in phase one of mass production (MP1), the vehicles built are finally ready for sale.
The difference between MP1 and MP2 is that during MP1 both the previous model and the new model are built simultaneously, while only the new model is
built during MP2.
With Job #1 for the 2013 Mustang approaching, AAI is ready to build a world-class vehicle with exceptional quality.