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Old 26th May 2010, 07:30   #151
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Excellent GTO. Helped to know about what is done where. Waiting other reviews about Japs & Korea also.
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Old 26th May 2010, 08:44   #152
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GTO you always give us the masterpiece. Hats off no words to appreciate.Amazing pics and explanations.
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Old 26th May 2010, 09:53   #153
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Fantastic coverage. I got so lost in the pics that I actually felt I was present in person.

Ford is really trying hard to sell the message that maintainence hereon is not going to be very expensive. I never was a big fan of Ford until I drove the Fiesta 1.6s from Hyderabad - Bombay - Alibaug - Mahabaleshwar - Hyderabad. For me it was always Maruti or Honda. And now, thanks to GTO, I feel more in touch with the Ford machines.

Thank you GTO. (apologies for being repetitive as I am completely overwhelmed.)
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Old 26th May 2010, 09:55   #154
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This is a very interesting thread, and great pics indeed which are very useful.
I think ford has started in the right direction,finally. With the figo, they now have something that the average buyer is looking for, and considering a Ford car. However, they must take more steps at the grass root level- which is sales and support to ensure all this hard work gets translated into sales and happy customers. It will take a much more focussed effort to remove the "high cost of ownership" that still exists in the marketplace when it comes to Ford. The community here is anyways an enthusiast and needs not much info to buy a Ford car, its the non enthusiast, common buyer where the mindset is still against Ford to some extent.

With the number of cars growing, its going to be all about who sells and supports their products better as differences between product offerings(quality and features) is going to thin out.
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Old 26th May 2010, 10:59   #155
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reminds me of the Industrial Visit i attended some 6 months back.At that point in time,the Figo was under testing.I must say i saw every bit of whatever GTO saw,except for the Figo being manufactured in the line.Ford is an amazing factory to visit.SAE was the organisation which took me there.
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Old 26th May 2010, 15:41   #156
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Good show!

wonderful coverage of the various aspects! Ford seem to be going full steam since the launch of the Figo. Lookig forward to more options from Ford.

And I always seem to forget Henry Ford actually started commercial production of cars and ran it successfully!
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Old 26th May 2010, 17:02   #157
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GTO, you have done a awesome job, you have clicked almost the minutest of the details.
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Old 26th May 2010, 17:16   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Thanks Ford and GTO!


Hi chennai-indian, can you please give us more info (the system logic at a very high level) on how the system actually works?

Ok here goes:

The system is known as the "Digital Pick System" (dps) which consists of special software running on a server that is connected to a PLC (programmable logic controller) that in turn is connected to "pick lights" on the part racks in the parts ware house.

The DPS gets broadcast data from another system known as "Plant Vehicles System" or PVS which keeps track of where a particular car is on the assembly line from Body, Paint, Trim, final assembly until it is fully assembled. The DPS also gets the complete bill of material (BOM) or product structure of each car from another system.By the way, Fiesta BOM for example consists of almost 2000 components. DPS also knows what parts are in stored in which bin and which bin is where in the parts warehouse and which light is attached on top of each bin.

When a vehicle comes out of paint, PvS informs the DPS about that. DPS in turn, by looking at the bill of material of that particular vehicle, knows which components are required to be fitted on the assembly line, at what points, type of vehicle (Ikon or Figo or Fiesta etc) and based on that, alerts the operator in the parts warehouse to start assembling a "kit" of parts for a specific vehicle (VIN) by turning on lights on top of specific part bins.

The operator, starts assembling the kit of parts by picking parts from the bins that are lit up (the lights also have a 7 segment display which tells the operator how many of the parts to pick up). Once picked, the operator either pushes a button or touches a lever which switches off that particular light.

After the kit is completed, DPS tells the operator to deliver the kit to the start of the assembly line in a particular sequence (Sequence in which the cars are coming on the assembly line) and is mated to the specific car for which the kit was prepared. The kit travels along with the car and the assembly line operators pick parts from the kit and assemble the car.

This way, the assembly line operators do not have to search for which part to pick, and always fit the correct part for the car thus reducing errors and increasing efficiency.

Simple idea isn't it? Implementing this was not so simple and it took more than 7 months of handwork to perfect the system.

Oh - one more thing - this system was completely conceived and developed in India and is slated to be deployed in other Ford plants including those in US.

Last edited by chennai-indian : 26th May 2010 at 17:36.
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Old 26th May 2010, 17:42   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai-indian View Post

Simple idea isn't it? Implementing this was not so simple and it took more than 7 months of handwork to perfect the system.

Oh - one more thing - this system was completely conceived and developed in India and is slated to be deployed in other Ford plants including those in US.
Impressive

Considering that Henry Ford is often credited for the assembly line, it is I think befitting that this went onto a Ford factory.
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Old 26th May 2010, 20:15   #160
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Excellent GTO. Had a good trip into Ford yard.
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Old 27th May 2010, 07:32   #161
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That's gr8 show, GTO.
It was surprising to see that you are allowed to take photos as even Ford employees cannot.
This I feel shows the credibility Team BHP had built.
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Old 27th May 2010, 10:28   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
What is so secretive about the paint shop that cameras are not allowed there? I have seen the paint shop in the A.S.S and it was fairly high tech and I guess the one at the factory can't be too different. The only difference I can think of is that robots would be used at the factory.
Well it has to do with enviornmental issues and possibility of some NGOs raising a concern over working conditions in the paintshop. I am sure its not fully automated and manual effort will be required. Mass production paint shop and a A.S.S paint shop is totally different.
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Old 27th May 2010, 12:55   #163
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Feel good factor, I always wanted to visit an assembly line up. But I guess for now I will settle for this one.
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Old 27th May 2010, 14:21   #164
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Great thread and really informative to the ilk of us who have never had a chance to see the inside of a car factory. Thanks GTO!!

It is amazing to see the number of steps that go into making a car. And even more impressive is how the factories today have perfected the art of repeating these processes over and over again without a hitch millions of times a day. We all see the glamour bits - i.e. the cars but the real heroes are the folks who do it day in day out.

Also gave me an insight into how important quality checks are in these processes.

Drive on!!
Shibu.
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:37   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msetlur View Post
I feel tempted to buy the Ikon with one of the bigger mills that they have. Would this be advisable?
Naah, the Ikon is waaaaaaaay past its sell-by-date. There's better sedans in the segment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedreamcatcher View Post
By, the way, did you manage to get pics of how the metal is shaped after getting cut, to form the wedges, bends etc. How is it molded / welded?
What you see on the 1st page is all that I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_rocker View Post
The confusion still lurks in my mind. I saw pictures of you having a blast in an Aquarius Blue Ford Fiesta 1.6S. I had booked the same car on 13th May and later told that the color has been discontinued. Is that true? Can you please tell me when did you visit the Chennai plant and when were these pictures taken?
I was at the plant 24 hours prior to releasing this thread and the 1.6S that I drove was definitely a year or two old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateek99 View Post
I only pray that such a detailed photo shoot doesn't land your host in trouble.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Wouldn't it be great if this was number one of a series! Manufacturers take note!
I hope so too. Question is : Do other manufacturers have the confidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akki_5 View Post
I've seen the Tata Motors Pune plant just as closely and i believe that was no less! Just as impressive. Automated machines (robots) doing the big work while humans doing the inspection and smaller work. Saw the Indica and Xenon assembly lines from sheets of steel to a full car. Very nice.
Oh, I bet! Every mass-production facility (volumes over 5,000 a month) has to have a high level of automation. Tata produces what, like 20,000 cars at their Pune facility now (10,000+ Indica / Vista + 7,000 Indigo / Manza + Sumos + Safaris)? And that's not even counting the other utility / commercial vehicles. Must be some facility. When we visited the plant (for the Manza test-drive), it felt like a highly-disciplined university.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshguy View Post
Looks like you came to Chennai on 19/20th of may
Correct

Quote:
i wonder how ford allowed you to take pics.(must be a branding exercise)
I'm sure it is (just like test-drive events). Key point is : Does this thread bring value to the community? I think so. There are so many amongst us who aren't familiar with the production process at all. This thread is an eye-opener right there (e.g. post right above this one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkh View Post
However, they must take more steps at the grass root level- which is sales and support to ensure all this hard work gets translated into sales and happy customers. It will take a much more focussed effort to remove the "high cost of ownership" that still exists in the marketplace when it comes to Ford. The community here is anyways an enthusiast and needs not much info to buy a Ford car, its the non enthusiast, common buyer where the mindset is still against Ford to some extent.

With the number of cars growing, its going to be all about who sells and supports their products better as differences between product offerings(quality and features) is going to thin out.
You have hit the nail right on the head. Ford can strategize all they want, its the dealers who have to perform. Its the sales / service advisor who is the company's face to its customers. That's where training, knowledge, ethics and a customer-centric approach is imperative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai-indian View Post
Oh - one more thing - this system was completely conceived and developed in India and is slated to be deployed in other Ford plants including those in US.
You must feel proud, Chennai-Indian! Thanks for sharing that.
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