Following good sales performance of its Expedition and Navigator SUV lines, Ford has stepped up production by adding a Stratasys 3D printer and 400 new robots to its production plant.
Ford Motor Company has announced plans to up spending on the production of its big truck SUVs by $25 million and install an industrial 3D printer in one of its production plants. The company noted that both its 2018 Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models had sold successfully, following an investment of $900 million to improve its Kentucky Truck Plant.
As part of this new $25-million investment, the company will be expanding its production line with 400 robots, plus additive manufacturing capabilities in a new Stratasys 3D printer.
To achieve the goal of quickening parts production and brings down the associated costs, the company chose the Stratasys Fortus 380mc 3D printer. This specialist fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer will be tasked with producing tools and individual parts for Ford’s engineers to assess potential production problems early on.
Meanwhile, the production robots are being installed to enhance the safety of its workers and speed up the production line.
Tools and Spares in Days
Previously, it took Ford up to four months to produce a prototype of a vehicle part. Traditional manufacturing methods for tools lead to costs as high as $250,000. With 3D printers such as the company’s new Fortus, such tooling can be manufactured in mere days at a fraction of the traditional cost.
Ford is not the only automaker turning to 3D printing tech to innovate their ways. Porsche has recently publicized its adoption of 3D printing tech to fabricate new spares for its classic cars that have been long out of production. Similarly, KIA, BMW and many other car makers have shown off their usage of 3D printed car parts.
Source: Ford & Fox Business