SAO BERNARDO -- Ford Trucks celebrated the fourth year of Mod Center operation, a Center for Product Modification installed at the Sao Bernardo do Campo Plant, SP, with the milestone of 30,000 vehicles modified. The only center of its kind to operate within its own factory in Brazil, the unit helped to increase production flexibility and efficiency, enabling the supply of vehicles with special configuration.
"Several segments of freight trucks require modification due to the specific characteristics of the operation and it became one of the main issues at the time of purchase. In these four years, the Mod Center has helped to increase production efficiency and adequacy of our line to meet these specific niches, which results in greater satisfaction for our customers," said Oswaldo Jardim, Ford Trucks Operations director for South America.
Another advantage of the unit is to ensure strict control of product quality. The system used in its operations is the same that is used in the assembly line. After the modification process, 100 percent of the trucks are audited for quality certification. In 2009, the number of vehicles modified on the Mod Center grew 28 percent. For 2010 the forecast is for further growth, which led to doubling the area available for special models mounting. The original area was enlarged in 2,460 square meters and presently occupies 9,600 square meters.
Currently, from the total number of trucks produced on the assembly line 31 percent pass through Mod Center, which represents an average of 1,080 vehicles per month. Besides the third axle assembly on 6x2 and 6x4 models, the most requested item, the Mod Center offers 115 types of modification (kits) for the different models of trucks in production.
The third axle is produced by Suspensys with Master brakes, which uses Fras-le clutch material. Soon the Mod Center will start assembling the fifth wheel JOST kits, and other modifications with components produced by companies of the Randon Group, who is Ford's partner in Mod Center operation.
"The Mod Center model that we adopted in partnership with Ford has been efficient as a business and as a customized solution for the end customer, with products that differ from the standardization characteristic of a conventional serial assembly line," says Jaime Vergani, Randon Implementos e Participações Managing and Financial Director.