Ford Sollers plant is located in Naberezhnye Chelny (Republic of Tatarstan). In addition to him, the city is the company "KamAZ". Until 2011, SsangYong and Fiat cars were produced here, and even earlier, the Oka. Now the factory makes Ford EcoSport crossovers, and in 2015 Ford Fiesta will be added to them. There are three Ford Sollers factories in Russia in total - two more are located in the special economic zone Alabuga and in Vsevolozhsk. Life around visited an enterprise in Naberezhnye Chelny and found out how cars were assembled there.
Location: Naberezhnye Chelny city
Opening date: December 2, 2014
Employees: 1,200 people
The plant is replete with bright colors: yellow welding guns, blue carts, red monorails, orange balanteres and hangers, multi-colored wires. It is interesting that the industrial designer was engaged in the design of the space - to create a comfortable atmosphere.
Parts for EcoSport are imported from more than ten countries, but now a localization program is active, thanks to which 50 Russian suppliers have appeared at the plant. By the end of the year, they want to increase the share of Russian components to 40%. However, not all suppliers can cooperate with Ford Sollers: their production system must meet Ford requirements.
First, on the lines in the welding workshop, individual components of the car are welded up - the engine compartment, the front floor, the rear floor, the underbody and sidewalls. Then the robotic complex forms the body. This process is fully automated. After the geometry is formed, a roof is installed on the body. This is done using a video system. Errors appear on the control monitors, and this helps to correct the operation.
Every fifth design is checked for compliance with quality standards in the geometry measurement laboratory. They find out if everything is properly cooked. In this room, the air temperature is always kept at +20 degrees in order to compensate for the seasonal error: in winter, the metal tends to narrow and expand in the summer. Measurement takes place at more than 200 points using the mechanical touch method. Permissible deviation from the norm is 1.5 millimeters. The reports with the measurement results go to the welding workshop for line correction.
Before painting, the body undergoes preliminary training in 11 baths. Here, washing, activation, phosphating, cataphoretic priming of the surface, application of anti-noise and suture mastic takes place. After that, the body is dried and gets into the painting chamber, where robots cover it with secondary soil and color coating. Now eight colors are used, but their number may vary - depending on the orders of dealers. After finishing polishing, the sparkling body can go further.
Then he goes to the conveyor belt in the assembly shop, which consists of three lines - "Trim", "Chassis" and "Final". First, protective covers, noise insulation, engine compartment, wiring harness for the cabin, airbags, brake pipes, pedals, air conditioning, join the body,
IP panel. So that the worker knows what parts to use, a manifest is attached to each machine - a document indicating the type of equipment.
At the second line post, the doors are removed. Later they will descend on the same car from which they were removed. Up to this point, they are supplemented by a power window, an electric wire, noise and vibration isolation, a panel, speakers, rear-view mirrors and other parts.
Many women work in the workshop. According to the head of the department, it is they who basically become the foremen. In general, despite the fact that automobile production is considered to be difficult and time-consuming, as early as 1914 half of the functions did not require physical exertion from people and could be performed equally successfully by both men and women.
At some posts, racks with parts are equipped with burning flashlights - one in each compartment. When the worker takes the part, he turns off the flashlight, so as not to grab it again by mistake when collecting the same car. Together with people in the workshop, one robot works: it applies glue to the glass. Automation of the process avoids the ingress of an excessive amount of adhesive and prevents leakage.
On the Chassis line, the hull moves along hunters, each of which rises to a certain height - depending on the height of the person who works at each post. Interestingly, the principle of the vertical position at work was introduced by Henry Ford exactly 100 years ago: "Raising the work plane to the height of the arm and further crushing of the working movements ... reduced the working time to 1.33 hours for the chassis," he wrote in his autobiographical book . On the "Chassis-1" line, air conditioning tubes, heat protection, fuel tank, shock absorbers, filters, logos are glued. Bolts on the underbody are marked after each tightening - so that the employee knows that he not only acquired it, but also tightened it. Clients sometimes unknowingly accept this labeling as a sign of marriage.
An important part of the assembly is the docking of the body with the transmission (it is called a “wedding” or decking at the factory). The transmission is fed by automatic shuttles, which move along the floor ring monorail conveyor.
Next is the installation of the exhaust system, the driveshaft, the final installation of mechanical groups with the help of manipulators for an electronic programmable tool takes place. On the line "Chassis" also installed seats, bumpers, wheels, spare wheel, steering rack is connected. At the end there is a control post - there they inspect the body before sending it to the “Final”. The brake, washer and coolant are poured into the car. After that, the rear tailgate and the front engine compartment are assembled. Headlights are installed there and doors are fixed, and the electronics are checked using a scanner. The controller checks the build quality.
Factory employees check the electronic systems of the machine, the angles of the wheels and the beams of headlights. Then the car passes dynamic tests on a roll test - it checks how the engine and gearbox work when accelerating to 110 km / h. At the very end, the closing speed of the doors and the paintwork are tested, and the vehicle's resistance to leakage is checked. Then the car drives onto the test track, where it is finally tested in action. Then the car drives to the finished goods warehouse, after which it is sent to dealers.
Photo: Ivan Gushchin