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Ford Factory Enlists AI To Combat Quality Issues

It’s no secret that Ford has suffered from its fair share of quality woes over the past few years, which not only lead to headaches for the automaker itself, but also, consumers that purchase Blue Oval vehicles. After closing out 2023 as the most recalled manufacturer in the U.S., Ford CEO Jim Farley has shifted his focus to improving initial quality by using methods such as conducting final quality checks before new or refreshed vehicle launches take place. However, the automaker is also turning to a relatively new phenomenon in that effort as well.

That tech is artificial intelligence, according to a new report from Automotive News, specifically, at the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center. There, the automaker is using what it calls the Mobile Artificial Intelligence Vision System to catch defects early in the manufacturing process, before vehicles wind up in consumer hands. Van Dyke was the first Ford plant to utilize this AI system, though it is already being used at 325 stations in 20 global Blue Oval facilities, performing 60 million inspections in 2023 alone.

The Mobile Artificial Intelligence Vison System is relatively simple in that its main component is a cell phone, which photographs parts and then compares those pictures to 30 others uploaded to the cloud that demonstrate the proper process for installing things like squish tubes, which are round rubber seals used in electric oil pumps that cool hybrid motors. Within a mere two seconds, the AI system can determine if the squish tubes were installed properly or not – or if they’re missing entirely – and can shut down the assembly line if that isn’t the case.

Methods like this are already seemingly paying off, as Ford CEO Jim Farley recently noted that the automaker’s 2024 lineup has improved in terms of initial quality, and he also pointed to incremental improvements throughout the course of 2023 as well. These moves come after the executive admits that he regrets not tackling quality issues sooner, though now, the company has shifted course in a major way, as this new tech shows.

We’ll have more on Ford’s efforts to improve quality soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. bob

    That is not AI

    Reply
    1. rapturd

      exactly

      Reply

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