We’ve talked a few times about the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant and the massive $1 billion investment Ford made to retool the plant for the new Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. We’ve talked about how the plant has 41 break rooms to allow the workers more downtime on their breaks.
Some new details about the Chicago Assembly Plant have been offered, and the amount of work that went into the 30-day switch over was incredible. Automotive News reports that 800,000 hours were worked by skilled tradespeople on the Chicago Assembly Plant changeover. To put the new equipment inside the plant, Ford had to remove 10,000 tons of scrap metal.
That amount of scrap metal was removed in the first five days of the project alone. The massive undertaking had 2,800 skilled tradespeople on the site at one time. The stream of tractor-trailers bringing new equipment to the Chicago Assembly Plant was a long one with 1,500 trucks packed with new tooling making deliveries to the plant. Ford was able to retool the plant in 30 days.
This was by far the most massive undertaking of changing over the Chicago Assembly Plant that Ford has undertaken in the 95-year history of the site. The changeover took about 11,000 workers in all. The scrap metal was removed from the factory on barges that were moored on the river that runs alongside the plant. Every 90 seconds a truck turned up and dumped scrap metal next to the river.
All that metal weighed more than the Eiffel Tower and was taken a mile down the river on the barges to a recycling center. Despite the massive undertaking, the changeover was highly efficient. One area of the body shop saw crews tear out old equipment, install new machines, and start building parts in seven days.
Source: Auto News