COLOGNE, Germany – Thirteen Ford of Europe personnel have just been honoured in The European Henry Ford Technology Awards for making exceptional contributions to the company.
The recipients were presented with their awards by Ford Motor Company’s chief technical officer, Paul Mascarenas at a special ceremony in Cologne.
Jim Buczkowski, a member of the Henry Ford Technology Award committee, said: “The Henry Ford Technology Award criteria are really about innovation and creating innovation for the company. So we are really looking for something new and different that has been created and will distinguish and differentiate Ford going forward. We are also looking for it to be introduced into production.”
Since the programme's inception in 1981, Ford Motor Company has recognised 425 new technologies and the 1,484 people involved in their technical development. These contributions have had a significant influence on the company's products and operations.
“Innovation for our company is really our heritage, ever since our founder Henry Ford first started experimenting with vehicles, the development of engines and the Model T,” said Paul Mascarenas. “So it really is the foundation of everything that we do. Great products, that deliver a great experience for our customers, really differentiated through the innovation we put in.”
The first award of the evening went to Urs Christen and Thomas Rambow from the European Research & Advanced Engineering organisation located in Aachen. Andreas Schamel, Director Global R&A Powertrain nominated them, along with three team members based in the US, for the design, development and implementation of the Global Vehicle Control System for the Auto Start/Stop application that is a crucial part of Ford's ECOnetic Technologies.
Also nominated by Andreas Schamel, the second award honoured a team consisting of two US-based and three European engineers who developed a Cylinder Head Integrated Exhaust Manifold. This engine technology integrates the high cost steel exhaust manifold directly into the aluminum cylinder head for gasoline turbo engines; it has led to a cost reduction of approximately $100 per vehicle. Günter Bartsch was the only recipient attending the ceremony as his team colleagues, Kai Kuhlbach and Jan Mehring, were unable to join the event.
Nominated by Christian Escher, who acted on behalf of Willi Wegener, the Manufacturing award recognised the development and implementation of the Dirt in Paint Vision System. This technology has helped to significantly improve quality and to reduce costs and workload by detecting dirt in paint defects automatically, in cycle time and under production environment. The recipients, Jose Asensio, Alvaro Herraez and Miguel Prior are working at Ford Valencia, while Josep Tornero is from a Spanish supplier. The fifth team member Michael Thomas is based in Merkenich.
Torsten Dittel, Sascha Haase and Oliver Hecht from PD Europe were nominated by Caspar Hohage and received an award for the design, development and implementation of the Lane Keeping Aid. This technology was launched in the current Focus and helps the driver to keep the vehicle on track in the case of an unintended lane departure. Like all the other awards, Lane Keeping Aid was also a joint international development, with three team members located in Europe, and two engineers in North America.
Mascarenas added: “In the future we have to continue to focus on the fundamentals, that is to produce high quality vehicles that are safe, green and smart. For safety, for example, more active safety and driver assistance features. Connectivity, for example, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications; and then in the smart pillar, just continuing this theme of more HMI development, more exciting screens, more exciting interface for the driver and passengers in the vehicle. So a lot of innovation ahead.”