Ford Authority

Here’s How Ford Mixed Reality Tech Helps Improve Quality

Following years plagued by recalls and initial quality woes, Ford CEO Jim Farley has worked to move the company’s focus back to improving that particular metric, and thus far, those efforts seem to be paying off, at least according to some recent studies focused on initial quality. As Ford Authority has reported previously, Ford has accomplished much of this by conducting extensive quality checks before launching refreshed or redesigned vehicles, but it’s also using virtual reality and other tech in the production process. That includes, interestingly, what’s known as mixed reality (MR) as well.

Recently, Axios was able to experience how MR technology is helping Ford track down quality issues at the source, which in this case is the Dearborn Engine plant. There, workers use mixed reality goggles – the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset – to ensure that things like wiring harnesses are installed properly by following easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions, and a virtual assistant even provides feedback on the spot. There are even glowing indicators in the goggles that show where one needs to look, as well as what points they should check.

The Dearborn Engine plant was the first Ford facility to utilize these headsets and this new process, where the automaker uses them to not only train employees to build engines, but also, to change tooling. Thus far, Ford has trained 25 workers in Dearborn using the headsets, with 100 more expected to complete that process by the end of the year. Soon, the MR tech will be used in a host of other Blue Oval manufacturing plants as well. According to Ford, the MR headsets have thus far helped to accelerate the training process, as well as ensure that jobs are completed accurately each and every time.

These efforts are critical for Ford, which issued more recalls than any other automotive manufacturer last year, and has consistently been plagued by quality issues for years to this point. Regardless, this and other new processes seem to be paying off, as FoMoCo ranked above average in J.D. Power’s recently-released 2024 Initial Quality Study (IQS), and had several models rank in the top three of their respective segments, to boot.

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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