03.13.16 - Android Smartphone

Ford is Integrating more Technology in its Production

In Ford by Lauren Gailli

Studies have been done and with the technology available to us now it’s important for any business to save time. The saying “time is money” is true in every manufacturing industry in the world, making it important for a business to find more time and to save time wherever possible. Using the technology available Ford is integrating time saving techniques to their production line. If Henry Ford himself could see what his company is doing now to make producing cars more efficient he would certainly puff his chest out with pride in his legacy.

What Ford has done is create what is being called the Portable Quality Assurance Device (PQAD) which is an Android powered smartphone which has been equipped with several apps that are meant to specifically streamline the quality assurance process on the assembly line. So far the results of this app based smartphone design is a savings of seven seconds per car off and a reduction of one kilometer of walking per day which makes for a significant time savings over the previous process of checking cars and the quality of the build.

In the past these quality checks meant the employees assigned these tasks would have to walk up and down the line to the different cars and match up a paper checklist to the car. This meant many more steps and a much more time consuming process that took the focus off the vehicle at times to ensure the checklist had been completed. While this has worked for Ford over the years, embracing technology is an important part of improving the overall quality of the build while reducing the number of quality check errors, which can occur. Using the PQAD has resulted in a reduction of errors by seven percent with an increase in the quality of the build.

The PQAD is attached to the wrist of the user which will bring up the quality check parameters that need to be used for each car on the line. The checker can then record the results found as the cars are moving down the line or stop the line if something needs to be fixed. Stopping the line used to mean walking down the line to press the stop button, but now this stoppage can be accomplished right from the smartphone attached to the wrist of the quality check personnel.

For now Ford has only instituted this advancement in the Valencia, Spain plant but with the amazing success this new feature has created for this plant more locations will incorporate this system in the near future. Adding this to the production line will eventually allow Ford to produce more vehicles each day than ever before and have the quality controls necessary to have the most efficient production and assembly lines in the industry. As you can see Ford has taken the steps needed to continue the vision of their founder of building cars in the most efficient fashion possible.