SANAND, India — As Ford India continues construction of its US$1 billion plant in Sanand, making sure incoming employees are prepared and well trained is crucial. The first preparatory training program, titled Parivartan (meaning ‘transformation’ or ‘change’ in the Indian regional language) for new employees at the Sanand Vehicle Assembly & Engine Plant (SVAEP), kicked off earlier this month.
Meant for Fresh Production Team Leaders and Team Members, SVAEP has partnered with an external training partner and a local educational Institute to deliver the training program. The first batch of trainees included 39 participants with industrial trade diplomas (vocational courses).
Ford India has been making steady progress in construction of the plant in Sanand since its groundbreaking last year, and is working with its plant project team and suppliers to follow Ford’s global environmental management practices to build a world-class manufacturing facility. When completed in 2014, the plant will have the capacity to produce an additional 240,000 new Ford vehicles and 270,000 engines per year.
The objective of Parivartan is to help fresh college graduates make the transition from college to corporate life, thereby preparing for work in a capable and effective organizational workforce. The eight-week training program covers key learning modules like Organization Overview, Organization Values and Culture, Safety, Soft Skills, Basics of Engineering, Vehicle and Powertrain Operations Overview. Ford India plans to train over 2,500 employees in the next 12-15 months.
Kel Kearns, director, India New Site Manufacturing and Plant Manager SVAEP, along with other members of Operating Committee of SVAEP, inaugurated the first batch of trainees.
“This is a historic moment in what we hope will be a long and proud history of manufacturing at Sanand,” Kearns said on the occasion. “Welcoming the first batch of Team Leaders and Team Members means that all levels within the Aligned and Capable Organization are now populated and the founding team for the Sanand plant is now established,” he added.
During the inauguration program, Kearns briefed the participants about the exciting journey of SVAEP so far. The overall training phases under the Parivartan program were also outlined. There was a sense of delight among the trainees, and their parents who were invited to join them after seeing the massive SVAEP plant layout, the site construction photos and the overall training module design.
‘Aakriti’ for Maintenance Teams
The team also added another feather to its cap by launching the Refresher Training Program for Maintenance Work Teams, known as Aakriti (meaning ‘Shaping’ in Indian regional languages). The Aakriti training program is envisioned to foster the key technical and analytical skills among the Maintenance Work Teams which play a key role in ensuring the plant facilities are always utilized at optimal levels.
The 40-day long training program covers the key learning aspects, starting from Organization Overview, Organizations Values and Culture, Safety and the basic components of the facility operations and interdependencies. From an overarching review of processes like Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Basic & Advance PLC, SCADA, Motor and Drives, Robotics & Mechatronics, Maintenance Work Team members will be trained by using simulation exercises on software as well as hardware to feel the production line facility operation, maintenance and troubleshooting techniques.
“It’s a great milestone for these Maintenance Work Teams, starting their careers with Ford following more than 3 years in other industries and embarking on a structured program that not only underlines their technical knowledge but establishes the culture we require of a Ford employee. Some of these members will go on to be selected as Team Leaders of the new GFPS (Global Ford Production System) Manufacturing Work Group (MWG) structure where Production and Maintenance are integrated in a work group,” Kearns further added.
“The curriculum under Aakriti maintenance skill development program extensively covers the wide range of applications used in the high automation automotive industry, and as a result of this program Maintenance Work Teams will gain the necessary skill to deal with the abnormalities in the day-to-day work environment confidently,” said Anil Patel, area manager, Final Assembly, SVAEP.
Participants along with Dhananjay Nair, general manager, HR , Anil Patel, manager Final Assembly, SVAEP, at the Parivartan training program inauguration.
Kearns and Patel jointly inaugurating the Aakriti training program.