CHENNAI, India — The India engine plant has achieved a new record by rolling out its 200,000th engine within six months of reaching half that number. The plant, which now exports about 45 percent of its engines, produces 13 variants of Ford's petrol and diesel powertrains.
"We are extremely proud of the team which has set a new record in achieving this landmark. Your accomplishment has made the India engine plant a regional hub for manufacturing and exporting low-displacement engines, and I hope that you will reach the next 100,000 very soon." said Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing, Ford India at a function to mark the celebrations.
Part of Ford's USD 500 million investment at the Maraimalai Nagar site, the India engine plant is designed to meet the growing needs of the Indian vehicle market and export opportunities. The state-of-the-art engine plant, which covers more than 40,000 square metres, is an advanced manufacturing centre that has been created with global best practices for engine manufacturing. It has the capacity to produce 250,000 engines annually.
In May this year, Ford Motor Company announced it will invest US 72 million to expand this powertrain facility to further support its sales and export growth plans in India.
When the expansion programme is completed in mid-2012, the engine plant’s production capacity will increase to 330,000 units per year, an additional output of 80,000 diesel engines annually.
"It is the relentless efforts of the team and great teamwork that has made us reach the 200,000 mark within six months of rolling out the 100,000th engine. This team has also handled increasing complexity very well, and currently churns out 13 variants of our petrol and diesel engines for various markets," said Radhakrishnan Balasundaram, who as vice-president, Powertrain Operations, leads the India engine plant.
Balasundaram said the plant is capable of producing more diesel engines in tune with market demand due to its versatile manufacturing line.
"We have also started working on Ford's next generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient powertrains which will be manufactured in India". He said plant expansion plans are on schedule and hiring has started.
The plant is the first Ford facility to feature a flexible production line that manufactures both petrol and diesel engines. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities, the plant runs a number of innovative eco-friendly production strategies including a "cold test process" that uses advanced electronics and sensing mechanisms to evaluate engine performance and NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) without burning any fuel.
The India engine plant has also received three Technical Maturity Model (TMM) awards in a row from 2008. In 2011, the plant received awards for two projects "Reduce Scrap Cost Through Cylinder Head and Cylinder Block Salvage Process" and "Quick Change Over by Common Grinding Wheel and Fixture," respectively.
|Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing and Radhakrishnan Balasundaram, vice-president, Powertrain pose with employees on achieving the landmark.|