Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant Reopens with Flexible Body Shop
April 28, 2009
It took seven weeks and $200 million, but now Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant has been retooled and is ready for more efficient production scheduling. The addition of a new flexible body shop gives the plant the ability to produce Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs alongside Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks.
The body shop tooling comes from a closed Ford assembly plant in Norfolk, Virginia, with additional components coming from the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. The Michigan Assembly Plant is currently being retooled for production of the next-generation Ford Focus, with production commencing in 2010.
The increase in flexible operations and standardization at the Kentucky Plant is made possible through reprogrammable body shop tooling, standardized equipment in paint shops, and a common-build sequence in final assembly. The plant has added a second trim shop, and third shifts in body, paint, and stamping to account for increased production needs. To handle the increased workload, nearly 450 Ford employees transferred to the Kentucky plant, primarily from the Louisville Assembly Plant and the former Michigan Truck Plant.
Source: Ford Motor Company