Ford India has announced it has completed the expansion of its engine plant, increasing annual engine production capacity 36 per cent to 340,000, helping transform the facility into a regional small engine hub. The new facility was completed in record time of just over 14 months and creates capacity in manufacturing over additional 80,000 diesel engines annually.
The additional capacity will feed the surging demand for diesel powertrains in India and growing exports, creating more employment opportunities in the process. The ongoing expansion has already led to the hiring of 200 employees.
“We are delighted to see this new addition to our capacity in the Engine Plant as we gear up to move to the next stage of growth in India and the region,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.
The facility is the first Ford plant in the world with single flexible production line manufacturing petrol and diesel engines. It is also the first Ford facility to run a flexible crank shaft production line producing crank shafts, and to have a fully flexible Cold test, Hot test and Dyno test facility for petrol and diesel engines.
“We are at an interesting phase of growth with the markets demanding swift responses from manufacturers, and I’m proud to say that with this plant’s amazingly flexible production lines of both petrol and diesel engines, we’re well-poised to move quickly,” Boneham added.
Boneham recently joined the Engine Plant’s chief, Radhakrishnan Balasundaram, vice-president, Powertrain Operations, Ford India, in cutting a ribbon to mark the roll-out of the 400,000th engine from the plant.
“This is a special occasion for all of us at the Chennai Engine Plant. Commissioning this facility in record time is a tremendous milestone and just adds to the many significant achievements this plant has in terms of Quality, Safe, Smart and Green,” said Radhakrishnan.
“To be rolling out the 400,000th engine from the Chennai plant in just under four years is an outstanding achievement, and one that everyone involved should be extremely proud,” said Gary Johnson,vice president, Manufacturing, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “Ford is currently building seven new plants across Asia Pacific and Africa, and we are making a significant commitment in India, which will see it become a regional hub for low-displacement engine production.”
The US$ 72 million investment, which has enabled the plant to enhance the Crankshaft Machining, Cylinder Head and Cylinder Block Machining at the Machine Shop with procurement of new equipment has also boosted its ability to handle more complex tasks. Today, the plant produces 12 Duratec petrol engine variants and five Duratorq diesel engine variants, allowing the workforce to hone its skills working on several variants.
Commissioning of the expanded facility is one of the key steps in Ford India’s transformation into a major export and manufacturing hub of small displacement engines -- 1.6 TiVCT, 1.4 HC and Duratorq engines will be exported to markets such as South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan. Nearly 40 percent of engines manufactured here will be exported.
The Chennai Engine plant has delivered several achievements in terms of Ford’s four pillars of Quality, Green, Safe and Smart. These include:
The plant has the lowest water consumption among all Ford plants worldwide
Uses vegetable-based cutting coolant for machining: An environment-friendly oil
The plant has been awarded Ford’s technical excellence award (TMM) for four consecutive years.
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