Ultimation was selected to engineer, build and install a new overhead power & free conveyor system for Ford Venezuela. The system was installed in Ford’s Valencia assembly plant, and is a doors-off conveyor system. The system removes the doors from 3 types of painted vehicle bodies, moves them to a build area for build up of glass and trim, and then returns the doors to a re-installation point near the end of the final assembly line. The project had a number of challenges that are typically found in lower volume or older style assembly facilities:
- Low roof height – requiring the support steel for the power & free conveyor system to be installed above the roof trusses to maintain good access below
- High model complexity – the same door carriers are used for the Ford Explorer, Fiesta and EcoSport doors. This required highly complex door carriers with sliding fixtures to suit the different models
- Limited line side space – 4 special low-profile vertical lifters were designed to suit the limited line side space available in the Ford plant, while protecting the available space for aisles as well
Ultimation CEO Jacqueline Canny visited the Ford plant in Venezuela during the commissioning process and met with Ford’s regional management in Brazil during the same visit.
“This project with Ford in Venezuela is an ideal application for Power & Free Conveyors, and our first major project from our new alliance with Jervis Webb. The Webb Power & Free technology is the most durable overhead conveyor technology available. It’s been proven over decades to be the easiest to maintain, most durable system there is.” said Canny.
“Ultimation’s management of the project on a turn-key basis demonstrated our team’s extensive capability in working in the South American market. Our team members have a deep understanding of the requirements of low volume and CKD (completely knocked down) automobile assembly methods. We are uniquely able to provide systems meeting the North America OEM requirements of Ford, GM and Chrysler to customers in the Latin American region. Ultimation’s staff have the experience of managing these plants — so we know what our customers need and what is important to them.” she said.