Motor Co. is resuming production at its storied Cleveland Engine Plant
No. 1, which becomes the first manufacturing site to build Ford’s new
fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines.
The plant, idled since 2007, is ramping up pre-production of 3.5-liter
EcoBoost V-6 engines that will be optional on the 2010 Lincoln MKS,
Lincoln MKT and Ford Flex and come standard on the 2010 Ford Taurus
EcoBoost engines, which combine direct injection technology and
turbo-charging are a key part of Ford’s overall strategy to improve
fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions across its lineup. The engines
can achieve up 20 percent better fuel and 15 percent lower CO2
emissions compared with larger displacement engines without sacrificing
"The launch of EcoBoost is the big milestone in Ford’s commitment to
deliver affordable fuel-efficient cars and trucks to millions of
customers," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain
Engineering. "The EcoBoost V6 is going to achieve the fuel economy that
our customers demand, while delivering even more of the performance
that they want."
Ford invested $55 million for tooling and equipment upgrades at
Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 to build the EcoBoost engine.
Approximately 250 employees will form the shift to build the engine.
The plant will be staffed by employees from the existing three plants
at the site.
The Cleveland Engine Plant has been outfitted with a flexible
manufacturing system for powertrains, featuring modern machine tools
that easily can be retooled and reprogrammed to perform new tasks with
minimal disruption to production.
A new, internal database will ensure quality is built into the engine
from the outset. During production, each engine built at the plant will
have a sophisticated engine "birth history" that allows plant engineers
to track every stage of production. The engine history, maintained in a
microchip database, will include hundreds of metrics and allows
engineers to trace the precise path taken by any part so any quality
control issue can be traced back to its source.
To prepare for production of the EcoBoost engine, the work force
participated in an intensive quality training program. Employees
learned basic manufacturing operations while gaining knowledge on how
to manage their own equipment and work area through "manufacturing work
teams" at the plant.
The final phase of training provides employees an opportunity to
upgrade skill sets for machining technicians and production team
leaders. The plant, working with Cuyahoga Community College, will
provide four weeks of onsite classroom training for this purpose, and
each student will receive 10 credit hours toward an associate’s degree
in Advanced Manufacturing Technology.
"We’re working together to keep our site competitive," said Mike
Gammella, President, UAW Local 1250. "We have identified and
implemented processes and practices to improve quality. The outstanding
work force is doing everything it takes to keep the Cleveland site
flexible and competitive. "