Ford Invests Another $250 Million To Double Electric F-150 Lightning Pickup Production

Barely short of one year in the wake of getting things started on the first Rouge get-together plant site, Ford’s new Rough Electric Vehicle Center (REVC) is currently leisurely structured pre-creation instances the 2022 F-150 Lightning. It’s around a half year until the customary creation of the electric pickup starts; however, Ford brought a gathering through the office this week for a visit and to declare an additional $250 million speculation and multiplying the creation plan to 80,000 units every year. The update will add one more 450 positions too.

The new venture will finance extra gear at REVC just as increments at the Rawsonville, Mich. parts plant and the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center north of Detroit. The Rawsonville plant has collected battery packs for Ford’s crossover models for ten years and is currently gathering the Lightning groups. The cells going into those packs come from one of SK Innovations’ two new plants in Georgia.

The as of late renamed Van Dyke plant has for some time been a transmission plant for Ford. Yet, as a significant number of the front-wheel-drive vehicles that once utilized their programmed transmissions have been ended, a portion of its ability is being retooled to fabricate electric engines and drive units. The plant is now constructing the electric motors and half drive units for the new Maverick reduced pickup and is adding the Lightning engines and gearboxes.

When Ford previously reported REVC a year prior, it didn’t uncover what the creation limit would be, partially because it didn’t have a clue. It was muddled how the market would take to a battery-controlled F-150. Kumar Golhatra, Ford President, the Americas, the first arrangement was for around 40,000 units. Since the Lightning was uncovered last May, that number has been tightened up as the number of reservations keeps climbing. With reservations now at more than 150,000, Ford currently plans to be at an 80,000 unit run rate at some point in 2023, the truck’s second year of creation.

With such a lot of beginning vulnerability about interest for an electric pickup truck, Ford selected not to construct a conventional mechanical production system for the car. Yet, there were many contrasts to do last get together on a similar line as the inner burning models. A customary exchange line is typically measured for around 250,000 units of yearly creation and can cost up to a significant portion of a billion dollars. Those allowable expenses get spread over a more modest number of vehicles, quickly killing any edge if it’s not utilized at a limit. Increasing and adding more exchange lines is likewise costly if a request is more noteworthy than a limit.

All things being equal, Ford has taken on mechanized directed vehicles (AGVs) to accommodate adaptable get-togethers that can be effectively reconfigured and scaled as request increments. AGVs are not new, GM previously attempted to utilize them at its Detroit-Hamtramck get-together plant during the 1980s, yet the innovation wasn’t adequate. After ongoing issues, they were supplanted by a conventional exchange line a couple of years after the fact. As that plant is additionally presently being retooled to assemble EVs, it is returning to AGVs too.

In Dearborn, the REVC is being utilized for a conclusive gathering of the Lightning. The structure ranges around 500,000 square feet, about a large portion of the size of the entire gathering region for gas F-150s nearby. At present, it seems as though not precisely 50% of that space is being used. If and when interest for the Lightning warrants it, more AGVs and get-together stations can, without much of a stretch, be included in the accessible space inside REVC.

One of the keys to Ford having the option to value the Lightning beginning from $40,000 is that it uses a great deal of the economies of scale previously settled for the gas trucks. The aluminum body structure and practically the entirety of the taxi parts, glass, wellbeing, and electronic frameworks are shared. The taxi and bed are delivered in the primary body and paint shops and afterward moved by transport over to the REVC. They come in toward one side and are stacked onto AGVs to go through the trim get-together areas.

From the opposite finish of the REVC, the Lightning-selective casing comes in and is stacked onto an AGV topsy turvy to establish suspension, brakes, engines, and wiring. In the wake of going through a vast apparatus that sets the break’s arrangement, the AGV goes into a station where two robots lift the edge and flip it over. While that is occurring, a third robot moves the battery pack onto another AGV, and the cutter is brought down on top of the group, and bolts are headed to consolidate everything.

The finished edge of the F-150 Lightning is lifted to be joined to the body.

From that point, the edge AGV goes to a station where a couple of camera-prepared agreeable robots check everything to guarantee that each connector has been connected. Then, at that point, to a station where the taxi and bed have been taken off their particular trucks and the casing is raised so it very well may be associated with the body. The presently almost complete gathering then, at that point, goes to liquid fill, has tires mounted and frunk liner introduced and afterward last review and charging.

One of the welfare of AGVs is that they are fixed while administrators take care of their assignments. When a get-together administrator goes to their station, they tap their identification which raises their profile that incorporates data like their stature. As each AGV comes into that station, it naturally changes its stature to give ideal ergonomics to the errand to be done, lessening wounds and stress and working on quality. All parts to be introduced are examined to ensure all that ought to go on the vehicle does.

Laborers at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center investigate an F-150 Lightning pre-creation vehicle.

The investigation region incorporates a couple of remarkable stations. One is the adjustment station for the F-150’s new installed scale framework that actions the payload weight. When the administrator triggers it, a vast robot swings over the bed and progressively pushes down with up to 2,000 lbs to align the sensors. At another station, cameras across the two sides and the top check to ensure that everything matches the form sheet, including similar wheels for what it’s worth and coordinating with mirrors.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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