Ford has been expanding its use of both solar technology and artificial intelligence at its production facilities for some time now, installing solar arrays at the Valencia Assembly plant in Spain and signing a deal with RheinEnergie in Germany to expand those efforts, all while also leaning on AI to speed up the manufacturing process and better facilitate customer service. Now, the automaker has announced that both of those types of technology will also be playing a big role in production of the recently redesigned Ford Transit Custom at the Ford Otosan Assembly plant in Turkey, too.
Ford says that its joint venture facility is now one of the most efficient plants in the entire automotive sector following these updates, which include the very first use of photovoltaic glass walls in Turkey. The plant also has solar panels on its roof that contribute to a reduced reliance on externally sourced electricity, all of which is certified renewable, while Solar Wall technology captures sunlight to heat water for the facility, reducing natural gas usage at the same time.
Additionally, the Ford Otosan Assembly plant utilizes real-time data and artificial intelligence to create “digital twin” virtual manufacturing simulations, which helps optimize production efficiency and allows for quicker responses to demand fluctuations, supply, of components or variations in production processes. Inside, multi-story welding and assembly workshops enhance efficiency by allowing teams to integrate more closely, while wireless, rechargeable electric tools have replaced pneumatic equipment in several parts of the production line, for a quieter, more comfortable working environment.
“The state-of-the-art Yeniköy Assembly Plant is already helping Ford Pro enhance quality for customers and as one of the world’s most efficient automotive production facilities is setting new standards for producing multi-energy commercial vehicles at scale,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “Ford Pro has been Europe’s top-selling commercial vehicle brand for the past eight years. As a leader we want to enhance the ownership experience for our customers with transformative technologies, and by expanding our vehicle offering and streamlining production and engineering.”