PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – The Ford Struandale Engine Plant (SEP) has achieved a significant milestone with the production of its 100 000th new-generation diesel engine.
This landmark achievement was reached on 18 October, underscored by continued strong demand for the Duratorq TDCi four and five-cylinder diesel engines used in the Ford Ranger, as well as the impending 2014 launch of the Power Stroke 3,2-litre diesel engine that will be exported to North America for the Ford Transit.
“The Struandale Engine Plant has been transformed into a truly world class facility with the component machining and engine assembly operations in support of the Ranger and Transit vehicle programs,” says Satya Banda, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.
This important milestone reinforces the proud history of the plant, which first opened its doors in 1964 and has produced almost 3-million engines to date. Notably, it follows the recent announcement of the 3-millionth vehicle produced by Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
As part of a R3,4-billion investment program launched in South Africa in 2010, the Struandale Engine Plant machines engine components for export to Thailand and Argentina. Fully assembled 2,2 and 3,2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines are shipped to Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria for the Ford Ranger, which is distributed to 148 markets around the world.
The facility is also gearing up for its first-ever exports to the North American market as it is due to begin shipping the Power Stroke engine for the Transit to Ford’s Kansas City plant in early 2014. Several batches of trial and pre-production engines have already been assembled and sent to the vehicle plant in the US.
In support of the export programs, the Struandale Engine Plant employees have undergone extensive training and skills development, ensuring that they meet Ford’s stringent global production and quality standards.
This is bolstered by the implementation of the Global Ford Production System (GFPS) introduced at the plant at the beginning of this year.
“GFPS is a wide-ranging business and production management initiative that empowers our employees to adopt a hands-on approach towards maximizing production efficiency, cost and quality,” Banda says.
“It also focused on the central principle of continuous improvement, enabling each member of the team to make a valuable contribution towards the company’s global competitiveness and ongoing success.”