Ford Invests In Flexible Manufacturing

Ford Motor Co. said Aug. 23 it would produce about two million engines per year in Britain by 2009, thanks to a multi million-dollar investment in "flexible" manufacturing. Ford has ploughed $1.67 billion into a three-year plan to ramp up output at two car plants in Dagenham, east of London, and Bridgend in southern Wales.

"Flexible technology is the key to this growth, enabling us to produce more than one type of engine on the same assembly line," said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe. "It allows us to respond quickly and efficiently to changing customer demands."

Factory workers will work more efficiently with the help of a bar code system to ensure quick delivery of components for each individual engine, according to the statement. "With this flexible system, the highly trained line operators are able to switch between different products smoothly and efficiently," it added.

The plants will produce a combined total of 1.3 million engines this year -- and would reach 2 million per year with the help of new technology, Ford said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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