Ford India's Maraimalainagar Nagar engine facility rolled out its 100,000th engine this month. This significant milestone was achieved just 14 months after the engine plant opened for operations in January 2010.
Commenting on the achievement, Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India said "We are thrilled and proud to celebrate the 100,000 production milestone in such a short space of time - my congratulations to all plant employees for a job well done! This world-class manufacturing facility reinforces our intent and commitment to compete with great products and powertrains in all segments."
"We are proud of the milestone which was achieved thanks to the great team spirit of our highly motivated and dedicated employees. We are confident that the next 100,000 engines will be produced at an even faster pace," said Radhakrishnan Balasundaram, vice-president, Powertrain Operations (PTO) who heads the India Engine Plant.
Part of Ford's USD 500-million investment at the Maraimalai Nagar site, the India Engine Plant is designed to meet the growing needs of the Indian vehicle market and export opportunities. The plant achieved the 100,000 milestone amongst multiple variant launches for domestic and international markets.
The plant is the first Ford facility to feature a flexible production line manufacturing petrol and diesel engines. Today, the plant produces five Duratec petrol engine variants and one Duratorq diesel engine variant for Ford vehicles. The plant has also exported more than one-third of the engines produced to South Africa and Thailand so far.
Covering more than 40,000 square metres, the facility is an advanced manufacturing centre that has been created with the global best practices for engine manufacturing and has the capacity to produce 250,000 engines per year.
In addition to state-of-the-art facilities, the plant runs a number of innovative eco-friendly production strategies including a "cold test process" using advanced electronics and sensing mechanisms to evaluate the engine performance and (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) NVH parametres. In this process, no fuel is burnt.
"The cold test process helps to reduce our carbon footprint as well as test-cycle times and allows better NVH control," Balasundaram added.
In recognition of its leading best practices, the plant was awarded the Total Maturity Model (TMM) quality award by Ford Global Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering in 2010. With this milestone, India seems to be emerging as a low-displacement engine manufacturing hub for Ford in the Asia Pacific and Africa region.
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