Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant is celebrating 10 years of sustainable manufacturing. The centerpiece of the Ford Rouge Center, the facility was conceived as The Blue Oval’s vision of sustainable manufacturing and has served as a leading example of the automaker’s next-generation of lean and flexible plants.
Since opening in May 2004, the planthas produced more than 2.6 million F-150 pickup trucks — America’s best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 32 years. In that time, the facility recycled 20 million pounds of cardboard, paper, and plastic by using as much recyclable packaging as possible while operating a total waste management system that includes transportation, disposal, recycling, reclamation, and reuse of plant waste.
The roof of the plant has flourished as an environmental touchstone. It’s home to 10.4 acres of a sustainable and diverse ecosystem that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduces energy use. The setup is part of an innovative storm water management system that reduces runoff and costs two-thirds less than a conventional water treatment process, according to Ford.
The plant, which is home to over 3,600 employees on a three-crew operating pattern producing 1,200 F-150 trucks daily, also maximizes the use of natural light and ventilation to reduce the financial and environmental costs of heating, cooling, and powering the facility. Additionally, the facility’s paint shop uses water-based primer and base coat systems to minimize harmful volatile emissions while delivering a high quality of paint.
Next up for Dearborn Truck is to build the all-new 2015 F-150, marking another chapter in the facility’s innovation story, as the truck will pioneer the use of aluminum body panels over conventional steel.
“Dearborn Truck Plant has set world-class standards for efficiency and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes,” says Ford North America manufacturing vice president, Bruce Hettle. “There is no better way to celebrate 10 years of top-notch manufacturing than gearing up to build the all-new F-150. The hardworking men and women of Dearborn Truck are excited to bring this Built Ford Tough truck to our customers.”