Over 8,000 of Ford’s skilled trades and production workers have undergone “intensive” training to support the F-150’s “innovative” manufacturing process. The new F-150 is built with a cutting-edge riveting operation system, necessary due to its extensive use of aluminum, making it a more complicated build process than the previous-gen F-150’s.
Over 400 hours of in-class and hands-on courses were conducted as Ford prepared its employees for F-150 production. The courses covered everything from installing and configuring new equipment, to constructing the truck’s advanced electrical control system.
“Through this program, we have armed both our skilled trades and production workers with the skills necessary to produce the next generation of vehicle technology,” Aris Janitens, Ford’s Launch Planning and Work Force Readiness manager said in a statement. “Our workers now are able to deal with the latest in automotive manufacturing technology and, as a result, keep production on schedule to deliver best-in-class, quality trucks to our customers.”
The new, more complicated manufacturing process meant Ford had to completed overhaul both its Dearborn and Kansas City facilities. Dearborn’s renovation was its largest manufacturing transformation in decades, with Ford installing new press lines, new hydroforming lines, a new chemical and heat-treat area, a closed-top aluminum recycling system and more.
Ford says its training program has resulted in the successful launch of the all-new 2015 F-150 at Dearborn. Now, Kansas will serve as the second production site for the truck, with plans for production to commence there by the end of this quarter. Ford says the KC plant has the capacity to produce more than 700,000 Ford F-150 pickups per year.