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Old 31st May 2010, 12:27   #181
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GTO awesome writeup, I loved the pallets used for storing engines, very nice.

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Old 31st May 2010, 17:25   #182
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Thanks for this GTO. I wish I was there . I bought a Fiesta this month and was wondering how it would have been if I could see the car I bought being made right in front of me ....
Love to go on such visit ....
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:41   #183
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Amazing coverage GTO and the pics were very good, now I too wish if I could visit a car factory
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:14   #184
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Awesome GTO!. I have passed the Ford factory at Chennai a couple of times and always wondered what lay beyond that main gate and manicured laws. Thanks to your writeup and the accompanying pics in no short measure, my curiosity has been answered. It was really nice to see the figo in particular being built from scratch. Do you by any chance have info on why the production of grey figos in particular is low. Everytime I ask my dealer regarding the delivery of my grey figo he mentiones that they are not shipping many with coral IP. Sometime back on this forum there was a mention about the long waiting period for this colour.
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Old 31st May 2010, 22:17   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai-indian View Post
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.
Whatever that is, please have an eye on no disclosing any IP of your employers.
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Old 1st June 2010, 10:32   #186
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Whatever that is, please have an eye on no disclosing any IP of your employers.
What I have explained is fairly common in auto indutry terminology and processes so no, I have not violated any IP.
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Old 1st June 2010, 12:51   #187
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@GTO: Owning a Fiesta 1.6S myself, your picto- tutorial has been an eye opener into the World of Ford. Its great to see Ford come to the game in great style. IMHO,the company has some of the best VFM cars in the market today. Cheers, and looking forward to many such visits in the future.
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Old 1st June 2010, 16:35   #188
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Very nice report GTO.

Reminds me of the time I spent on shopfloors of various companies!

What really intrigued me was the presence of women workforce on the shopfloor (from the pics on the Figo Facebook group). This was a pleasant surprise.

Women traditionally have been off limits from automobile and heavy engineering shopfloors as work was considered too "heavy" for women to do. I don't know how it is in other manufacturers. Any pointers?

A colleague (who once worked for Ford before switching to Toyota and ultimately into IT) said that Ford is a very serious Equal Opportunity Employer. Hence they ensure that women get to work in the same jobs as men.

This and this are the pics I was talking of!

Last edited by Glifford : 1st June 2010 at 16:40. Reason: Added URL to images
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Old 1st June 2010, 16:59   #189
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Great report GTO, thorough as always !!

Reminded me of the time I spent at the Volvo plant in Sweden many years ago. These auto plants truly are engineering marvels and a delight to spend time in.
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Old 1st June 2010, 18:18   #190
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Originally Posted by Glifford View Post
This and this are the pics I was talking of!
Wondering if that is the reason why the 2 nuts on my Fiesta's bootlid was loose by couple of notches!
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Old 1st June 2010, 19:46   #191
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Yes, Ford is very serious about employing women - they consciously aim for a high percentage of all workers at all levels to be women. I have seen fork lift drivers and other so called "manly" and "heavy" work being handled with consummate ease by them and I respect that.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 17:33   #192
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Originally Posted by sanjayc View Post
Wondering if that is the reason why the 2 nuts on my Fiesta's bootlid was loose by couple of notches!
C'mon! I certainly understand the humour behind that, but it can be politically incorrect

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Yes, Ford is very serious about employing women - they consciously aim for a high percentage of all workers at all levels to be women. I have seen fork lift drivers and other so called "manly" and "heavy" work being handled with consummate ease by them and I respect that.
Nice to hear that the glass ceilings are being broken at the grass root level. Really nice!
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Old 2nd June 2010, 18:06   #193
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Well, all your reports are marvelous GTO, but this one was awesome! Truly enjoyed reading it and going through the pictures. What is it called, lean manufacturing? It was amazing to actually see that concept in your pictures.

Also thanks to Chennai-Indian for the detailed explanation. Of course the ideas there are neither novel nor peculiar. If I were assigned the task to design this production line then very likely I would come up with similar methods from first principles.

I guess the dealers are the weak links in the chain, and auto manufacturers need to pull them up. Customers who confirm their booking should get CINs from the dealer and be able to track their order status on manufacturer's website. This way you could get the color of your choice and in a timely manner too!
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Old 3rd June 2010, 12:06   #194
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Marvelous report as always GTO.
BTW I am not sure if the Ford follows lean or not but the Toyota's Bangalore plant would be Mecca for people interested in lean (but no cameras allowed).
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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:51   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari_Sid View Post
BTW I am not sure if the Ford follows lean or not but the Toyota's Bangalore plant would be Mecca for people interested in lean (but no cameras allowed).
Off Topic :
Speaking of lean, even Porsche follows the Lean methodology in manufacturing.
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