Ford Chennai engine plant goes in for capacity expansion

Ford India has expanded their engine capacity at the Chennai Engine Plant by 36%. Production will now be expanded from previous capacity of only 260,000 units to 340,000 units per annum. This excess capacity will go towards increased demand for diesel engines in India and across the globe.

It is the only Ford plant in the world where from the company rolls out petrol and diesel engines and is also the first to have fully flexible cold test, hot test and dyno test for these types of engines. This increase of capacity has already seen increase in workforce to the tune of 200 employees and the company is poised for enhanced growth in this sector.

Ford India also recently rolled out their 400,000th engine from their Chennai plant marking ongoing efforts of the company achievements in terms of offering safe and green products. Seven new Ford plants are currently underway across Asia Pacific and Africa and the company is concentrating on the Indian plant for the production of low displacement engines.

News release: Ford India Expands Engine Plant by 36 per cent

· Ford India has successfully completed the ongoing capacity expansion at its Chennai Engine Plant, ramping up annual engine production to 340,000

· Manufacturing nearly 17 variants of petrol and diesel engines, nearly 40 percent of which will be exported, the facility strategically positions Chennai as a regional small engine hub for Ford

· With Chennai’s state-of-the-art flexi PowerTrain facility rolling out its 400,000th engine, Ford India is set to deliver on the One Ford plan

Ford India today announced it has completed the expansion of its engine plant, increasing annual engine production capacity 36 per cent to 340,000, helping transform the facility into a regional small engine hub.

The new facility was completed in record time of just over 14 months and creates capacity in manufacturing over additional 80,000 diesel engines annually.

The additional capacity will feed the surging demand for diesel powertrains in India and growing exports, creating more employment opportunities in the process. The ongoing expansion has already led to the hiring of 200 employees.

“We are delighted to see this new addition to our capacity in the Engine Plant as we gear up to move to the next stage of growth in India and the region,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.

The facility is the first Ford plant in the world with single flexible production line manufacturing petrol and diesel engines. It is also the first Ford facility to run a flexible crank shaft production line producing crank shafts, and to have a fully flexible Cold test, Hot test and Dyno test facility for petrol and diesel engines.

“We are at an interesting phase of growth with the markets demanding swift responses from manufacturers, and I’m proud to say that with this plant’s amazingly flexible production lines of both petrol and diesel engines, we’re well-poised to move quickly,” Boneham added.

Boneham recently joined the Engine Plant’s chief, Balasundaram Radhakrishnan, vice-president, Powertrain Operations, Ford India, in cutting a ribbon to mark the roll-out of the 400,000th engine from the plant.

“This is a special occasion for all of us at the Chennai Engine Plant. Commissioning this facility in record time is a tremendous milestone and just adds to the many significant achievements this plant has in terms of Quality, Safe, Smart and Green,” said Radhakrishnan.

“To be rolling out the 400,000th engine from the Chennai plant in just under four years is an outstanding achievement, and one that everyone involved should be extremely proud,” said Gary Johnson, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “Ford is currently building seven new plants across Asia Pacific and Africa, and we are making a significant commitment in India, which will see it become a regional hub for low-displacement engine production.”

One Plant: Many Smart Steps

The US$ 72 million investment, which has enabled the plant to enhance the Crankshaft Machining, Cylinder Head and Cylinder Block Machining at the Machine Shop with procurement of new equipment has also boosted its ability to handle more complex tasks. Today, the plant produces 12 Duratec petrol engine variants and five Duratorq diesel engine variants, allowing the workforce to hone its skills working on several variants.

Commissioning of the expanded facility is one of the key steps in Ford India’s transformation into a major export and manufacturing hub of small displacement engines — 1.6 TiVCT, 1.4 HC and Duratorq engines will be exported to markets such as South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan. Nearly 40 percent of engines manufactured here will be exported.

The Chennai Engine plant has delivered several achievements in terms of Ford’s four pillars of Quality, Green, Safe and Smart. These include:

The plant has the lowest water consumption among all Ford plants worldwide 
Uses vegetable-based cutting coolant for machining: An environment-friendly oil
The plant has been awarded Ford’s technical excellence award (TMM) for four consecutive years