"HARD AT WORK"
Today's automobile is a blending of technology and art. At Woodhaven Stamping Plant we utilize the technology to produce the end product, the art form. Our purpose is to produce the very finest automobile panels as economically as possible.
Communication, paramount in any labor intensive operation, is ensured by supervisory personnel carrying the very latest in two-way radios and alpha-numeric pagers. Ford PROFS®, Intranet, and E-mail are other forms of communication used by the plant.
Coils of steel, our raw material, destined to be doors, roofs, quarter panels, etc., are shipped into the plant by truck and rail. This sheet metal differs in thickness from .024 inch (about the thickness of 8 pieces of paper) to .177 inch (about the thickness of a silver dollar).
The coils are run through the blanking process or the auto coil feed system. Blanking operation uses blanker presses that cut an approximate flat outline of the finished panel which is banded together 250-300 at a time. They are then transported to the front of the press lines ready to be loaded in the draw die. The auto coil feed systems are set directly in front of the line. Coils are cut into blanks and then feed directly into the draw die.
The draw die is the first and most important die in the stamping process. This die gives the panel its initial shape, be it truck body side or mustang door panel, the form is made here. The rest of the dies in the line cut, bend, trim, and rebend, until the results are a finished panel. Some panels are transported to the assembly area for completion, others are stacked into boxcars for shipping to assembly plants. State of the art automation, superior die design, and employee suggestions have taken away the human error, minimizing surface damage.
Woodhaven is home to one of the largest transfer presses in the Ford® system. The Schuler press cost $160 million and has 6,000 tons of stamping force. It has the capability of stamping right and left hand panels simultaneously. To ensure the safety of personnel working in the area, the Schuler is equipped with numerous electronic devices, including monitors which display all processes that are taking place from loading and stacking to individual die operations and scrap removal.
Panels which are transported to the assembly area are mated and welded in resistance welding fixtures. The welding lines are automated, many having robots integrated into the system. The sparks you see cascading from the welding machines are actually molten steel, attesting to the powerful pressures of the hydraulic guns that carry the welding heads.
As the part moves through the line, the workers follow its progress and are diligently looking to spot any flaws that might mar our quality. Parts are checked regularly for surface quality and fit at the end of the line.
Precision checking fixtures and portable probes are used to ensure the perfect panel. Statistical data is recorded and charted demonstrating that the process is within limits and on line.
Statistical Process Control is an inherent part of the manufacturing process. We have two goals set for the use of statistical methods:
Our $5,000,000 five-axis computerized numeric controlled milling machine can restore dies to their previous tolerances or can machine new dies to specifications. Electronic Discharge Machines (E.D.M..), range from computer controlled wire burners, capable of machining to .0005, to the largest E.D.M. which mates the bottom die half to the top.
Ford® Motor Company and the UAW are united in their goal of producing the perfect automobile, and Woodhaven's fine employees reflect the objective in their pride of workmanship and attention to detail. Our commitment to Quality is proudly stated by our Q1 flag and ISO certification.
Woodhaven Stamping Plant