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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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    Inside Ford’s Silverton Plant: A Glimpse into Ranger Production

    Ford’s Silverton plant in Pretoria stands as one of the premier manufacturing hubs for the Blue Oval’s Ranger bakkie worldwide. In an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Ford offers a unique look into the intricate production process of the all-new Ranger at this state-of-the-art facility.

    The video showcases the advanced technologies and meticulous quality control measures implemented at Ford’s Silverton plant, aiming to give fans a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship and dedication involved in producing each Ranger bakkie.

    In 2022, Ford’s Silverton plant underwent a significant transformation thanks to a multi-billion Rand investment. This financial boost increased the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 vehicles per year. With a three-shift, 24-hour production schedule, the facility can produce up to 720 vehicles daily, equating to one vehicle every two minutes.

    The plant features several advanced manufacturing technologies, including Ford’s first on-site Stamping Plant, a new highly automated Body Shop, and the latest vehicle assembly operations on the Trim, Chassis, and Final lines. The Stamping Plant supplies body panels directly to the adjacent Body Shop, which now operates with 493 robots for enhanced efficiency.

    Located next to the Silverton plant, Ford’s Chassis Plant exclusively produces the robust ladder-frame chassis for the Ranger bakkie. It is the only Ford-owned and operated Chassis Plant globally, underscoring its unique role in Ranger production.

    The plant’s advanced Paint Shop employs a fully automated painting process using 62 robots. A computerized Paint Defect Detection System, featuring 21 high-resolution cameras, captures over 3,000 images of each vehicle to identify any defects.

    Impressive Production Facts

    • High Production Rate: A Ranger bakkie rolls off the production line every two minutes.
    • Automated Chassis Production: 600 robots in the Chassis Plant take three hours to build each ladder-frame chassis.
    • Spot Welds and Corrosion Protection: Each Ranger body has 4,000 spot welds and undergoes 12 chemical baths for corrosion protection.
    • Innovative Paint System: Each vehicle receives eight litres of Ford’s 3-Wet High Solids Paint system.
    • Precision Paint Scanning: A state-of-the-art paint scanner detects coating defects as small as 0.2 mm.
    • Water Testing: All Ranger bakkies undergo a 20-minute high-pressure water test to simulate extreme rain conditions.
    • Quality Assurance: Each vehicle undergoes 1,000 quality confirmation checks before leaving the plant.

    Stephen Enderby, CEO of EFTCorp, emphasized the importance of quality and innovation in every Ranger bakkie produced at the Silverton plant. “Hosting the first ‘Banking on the Future’ conference was a natural extension of our commitment to unlocking the potential of digitising African banking. By uniting visionary leaders and innovative thinkers, we are paving the way for a more dynamic and inclusive financial landscape.”

    Ford South Africa’s Silverton plant exemplifies the brand’s commitment to quality, innovation, and efficiency in vehicle manufacturing, ensuring that each Ranger bakkie meets the highest standards of craftsmanship and reliability.

    Main Image: The Citizen

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