RAYONG, Thailand — The welding team at Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) has successfully implemented a new quality testing programme that will help Ford to significantly reduce time and costs in vehicle production.
Welding Engineer Theerapol Thepsri led a team of six people completing the initial correlation process for the ultrasonic non-destructive testing (UT-NDT) on eight body sub-assemblies in just one week.
“This is a Ford record using this brand of equipment,” said Jim Derry, Joining Manager, Vehicle Operations Manufacturing Engineering (VOME), Ford Asia Pacific. “The first correlation can take up to two months, so this is a pretty high bar to beat.”
Ford’s Body Construction Engineering team recently launched a unified UT-NDT programme for the entire Asia Pacific region, starting at FTM. Once qualified in the process called correlation, UT-NDT can replace the costly destructive testing of welds by allowing the body shop team to inspect the quality of each welding spot without tearing down the parts.
For FTM, this means a savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for its current car line, in addition to cost savings by avoiding infrastructure investment for future vehicle programme destructive testing facilities.
With the ability to provide results within one day, compared to a four day turn-around for traditional tear down inspections, the new programme will also help the welding team quickly identify and contain any problems before vehicles move to the next production process.
“I am very proud and want to congratulate the team for working hard,” said Theerapol.
“We realize how this process will benefit the company and with support from the One Ford team, we hope to complete the initial correlation on the rest of the body subassemblies of the all-new Focus by November.”
FTM is a highly flexible plant with an initial annual capacity of 150,000 units. The state-of-the-art facility, located in Rayong, Thailand is home of the all-new Ford Focus.
Ultrasonic testing in progress
Theerapol Thepsri led a team of six people setting high standards for the UT-NDT initial correlation process.