A glimpse of Ford’s new stamping plant in South Africa – which is bigger than a football pitch


The Ford Motor Company has announced the completion of its new high-tech stamping plant at its Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria.

The sprawling facility measures 10,320 square meters, which is almost 1.5 times the size of a standard football pitch, the group said.

“Our new stamping plant is a first for Ford in South Africa,” said Rhys Davies, Site Transformation Manager at Ford Silverton Assembly Plant.

“Previously, we used external suppliers to stamp our metal body parts, but we have decided to create our own stamping plant for the next-generation Ranger, which will go into production later this year.

“With our goal of delivering the highest levels of quality and efficiency for the next-generation Ranger, it was essential that we bring stamping operations in-house.

“This ensures that we are able to control production quality throughout the stamping process, validate that all parts are to specification, and then deliver them directly to our new body shop located next door to the stamping plant.”

Davies said the facility will also significantly improve his plant’s capacity and efficiency through a higher level of automation while eliminating the time, cost and potential damage incurred when transporting these parts by road. .

“Most importantly, it allows us to deliver the highest quality vehicles to our customers in South Africa and in over 100 markets around the world.”

200,000 vehicles per year

The stamping plant comprises five tandem presses, including a 2,500 ton stretch press, a 1,600 ton press and three 1,000 ton presses which stamp flat sheet metal into the various interior and exterior body panels required for all three Ranger body styles: Regular Cab, SuperCab and Double Cab.

The presses are housed in a full soundproof enclosure to significantly reduce the noise generated by stamping operations, with an automated inter-press infeed system transferring stamped panels through the process to the end of the line. The entire line is fully automated, with an installed capacity of 16 strokes per minute.

“We have 47 die sets with a total of 208 dies producing 67 different parts, including the floor, body sides, roof, hood, doors and cargo bed,” said Jan Groenewald, head of regional stamping plant.

To facilitate the movement of heavy dies, the facility is equipped with a 50 ton automated sling crane, two 60/20 sling cranes and a 50 ton semi-gantry crane.

“The Silverton assembly plant now has an installed capacity of 200,000 vehicles per year. When operating at full capacity, the stamping plant will process 272 tonnes of steel per day on a three-shift system,” says Groenewald, who leads the team of 22 employees and approximately 270 hourly employees at the facility. “, did he declare. .

Scan system

The stamping facility also has an advanced GOM ATOS ScanBox blue light scanner system.

“This is one of the important new technologies that allows us to measure the perimeter and surface dimensions of each part and generate an accurate 3D model which is compared to the 3D model stored on our computer system,” said Greenwald.

The ScanBox has reduced scanning and measuring parts from over an hour with previous CMM machines to less than three minutes. We have three-hour production runs scheduled at a time, and the ScanBox measures 30 consecutive pieces during each production run.

“It gives us the analyzed data for parts before they are moved to the warehouse or mounted on a vehicle in the body shop, which was simply not possible with the previous system. Following the Six Sigma process, it ensures that we have a 99.997% chance that all parts produced will meet specifications, which means that all body parts that go into a Ranger will be of the highest production quality.

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