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FabTbird

How do you build two different car models at one plant

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I have a new Mustang on order and I read that Flat Rock produces Mustang and Lincoln Continental. How does that work?

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They use the same assembly process and build sequence and previously, they used to build Fusion with Mustang.

 

From body shop through to marriage point with the underside power train and suspension and down the final trim,

the same stations do the same jobs. It does require more off line assembly stations but those are all timed and

sequenced to add their modules to cars coming down the line.

Edited by jpd80

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Not all jobs are exactly identical but theyre similar

 

For instance, my job installing door panels is similar for the Focus and C-Max but theres a sail plate that goes on the a-pillar that doesnt exist on the C-Max door (tweeter, if applicable, is integrated in the door panel and comes pre installed) yet on the C-Max a-pillar theres a plastic blackout piece and rubber grommet for the mirror wire that the Focus doesnt have. Every C-Max rear door has 2 wires that need to be run on the door that arent always there on the Focus and when they are, theyre completely different anyway.

 

Installing the panels themselves is a little bit different too. The Focus panels just fit straight on the door but the C-Max panels have to go up and over onto a bracket and into the belt molding. Im glad I only have to do C-Max panels once every 10ish cars because theyre more annoying. I dont know how Louisville does it so frequently (the Escape and C-Max have identical door panels).

 

Going back to Flat Rock, elsewhere in the plant theres enough commonality in the platform itself between the Continental and Mustang where the robots in body and paint can accommodate the different bodies with minimal reprogramming, but they did need to do some minor work to some of the lines (especially in paint) to accommodate the longer body of the Continental. Theres some areas in paint the Lincoln cant fit into because it would require the literal moving of building structural supports and walls.

 

Sorry for the information dump. I might be able to answer more questions when Im not dead tired from working all night. I spent a year working at Flat Rock when I got laid off (the first time) from Michigan Assembly so I know that plant a little better than most people who post here.

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Wow Im tired. Most delayed double post ever 😒

Edited by fuzzymoomoo

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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like different cars come down the same line. That has to be very sophisticated systems to get the right parts to the proper places at the right time. I assume there are some parts or systems that would apply to both cars. How do you paint the Lincolns that don't fit in the paint shop?

 

On a side note I got a VIN number this morning for my car progress is good.

Edited by FabTbird

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If you think about it, even different vehicles of the same model all have different options and different parts so the inventory process is the same whether it’s all one vehicle or different vehicles. You just end up having more parts to track for two different vehicles.

 

At Wixom Ford used to build Lincoln Town Cars (body on frame) and unibody Lincoln LS on the same line at the same time.

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When you think about it each station on the line has parts supplied to it and I suppose the car model can change but you install the parts supplied. The needed coordination of all the parts coming into the plant and getting to the right place blows my mind.

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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like different cars come down the same line. That has to be very sophisticated systems to get the right parts to the proper places at the right time. I assume there are some parts or systems that would apply to both cars.

Its actually pretty simple. Theres a sheet of paper that is attatched to every car that has a different code telling the workers which parts that car gets, and at stations where theres multiple parts theres usually a light that lights up with a sensor that you have to touch to tell the computer that controls the line you grabbed the right part or it will stop the line. Its called a pick light.

 

Theres also quite a few parts (like my door panels) that come to the line sequenced in the order theyre coming down the line in.

 

How do you paint the Lincolns that don't fit in the paint shop?

all the important areas where actual painting is done isnt a problem, its some of the holding areas. Theres one in particular that Ive been in where cars that need paint repair go to wait on someone to fix them that is an issue but they make it work. Edited by fuzzymoomoo

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Didn't see an update on your car - do you have it yet? Sure hope so as I ordered one about a month ago that is scheduled at same plant.

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Didn't see an update on your car - do you have it yet? Sure hope so as I ordered one about a month ago that is scheduled at same plant.

I do have the car. It arrived in early April and it is a fantastic car. Much faster than my 2013 gt premium and normal ride quality with magnaride is way better than the 13. The 10 speed automatic feels very much like a cvt. Be very certain you are pointing where you want to go when you mash the gas.

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At STAP we used to build the Escort and the Crown Victoria at the same time ....BOD and Uni ...now that was Fun !!! .....lets just say CAI was a very busy area .....lol

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