Ford Buffalo: Stampings, Not Wings
Ford is upping its output at its Buffalo Stamping Plant via an investment of $150-million for the production of more than 25 new subassemblies, including hoods, doors and fenders.
This translates into >500 new dies, a new blanking line, and equipment upgrades.
It also means the addition of a third shift in the 2.5-million sq. ft. facility and 350 new jobs. Current employment: ~650 people.
Presently, Buffalo Stamping stamps parts for the F-250, F-350, Flex, Edge, Focus, Econoline, and Lincoln MKX and MKT, parts including quarter panels and hoods, as well as the aforementioned parts.
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)