|Source: Ford Motor Company|
FORD’S EXPANDED WINDSOR OPERATIONS TO PRODUCE NEW TRITON™ V-8 ENGINE
Ford of Canada’s largest engine plants soon will begin full- scale production of a new 5.4-litre TritonTM V-8 engine that will power the next-generation Ford F-150 pickup. The milestone will mark the culmination of a massive, three-year expansion program and investment of nearly $770 million (Cdn*).
Key to the new engine’s increased power, refinement and fuel economy, is a 3-valve cylinder head produced by Windsor Engine Plant and shipped to an all-new production line at Essex Engine Plant for final assembly.
The two-plant collaboration is Ford of Canada’s most ambitious engine plant expansion in recent history, representing 70,200 m2 (780,000 ft2) of new facilities and an injection of millions in the economy of Canada’s automotive heartland.
“Ford F-Series has been Canada’s best-selling full-size pickup for 36 years and is one of our top nameplates in the world,” said Alain Batty, Ford of Canada’s president & CEO. “That underscores the importance of our new engine and Windsor’s unique role in the success of the F-150.”
“Windsor is the largest centre of engine production in Ford’s global operations,” said Chris Bolen, Plant Manager at Ford’s Windsor Engine Plant. Bolen noted both Windsor and Essex Engine Plants are on track to surpass last year’s production of 1.1 million engines.
Graham Harris, Ford of Canada’s launch manager for the new engine, noted the new cylinder-head line at Windsor Engine Plant utilizes flexible manufacturing techniques.
“The installation of flexible manufacturing at Windsor Engine Plant is the first in what will be a global rollout of new and innovative manufacturing techniques at Ford engine facilities throughout the world,” he said.
Construction to expand both plants began in Spring 2000. Essex Engine Plant has received a 22,500 m2 (250,000 ft2) building expansion that includes a new production line for the final assembly of the new 3-valve 5.4-litre TritonTM V-8 engines, as well as a new crankshaft machining area.
Although full production occurs in 2003, plant manager Aaron McKey has confirmed that limited assembly of a three-valve V-8 engine for the Ford Falcon range in Australia is already under way.
“Canadian-built engines are powering the impressive new Ford Falcon a world away in Australia. By next year, our engines will also be powering the next generation of the best- selling Ford F-150 pickup. These are significant pride points for the 2,000 men and women employed at Essex Engine Plant,” said McKey.
The new TritonTM engine represents the first V-8 power plant produced at Essex Engine Plant. It will be added to Essex’ current production of the split-port 3.8-litre V-6 engine for the Ford Windstar and Mustang, and the split-port, 4.2-litre V-6 engine for the F-150 pickup.
Across town, Windsor Engine Plant has increased in size by some 25 percent, having received a 48,000m2 (530,000 ft2) facility expansion.
The 2,400 employees at Windsor Engine Plant are primarily involved in the assembly of Ford’s TritonTM family of 4.6- and 5.4-litre V-8, and 6.8-litre V-10 engines and the precision machining of several engine components such as cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, camshafts, crankshafts and connecting rods. The recent expansion provides for the assembly of 650,000 sets of cylinder heads and camshafts, plus the machining of additional cylinder heads, for the new 3-valve 5.4-litre TritonTM V-8 engine.
The new 5.4-litre TritonTM V-8 engine that will power Ford’s next-generation F-150 pickup is designed with three valves per cylinder, variable-cam timing and a host of other features that provide increased power, refinement and fuel economy.
The net result is an engine that delivers 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, and 365 ft-lb of torque at 3,750 rpm, both best in class for a light duty pickup. The all-new, aluminum cylinder head — with two intake valves and one exhaust valve per cylinder, for 24 valves in total — and a revised cast-iron block balance this impressive power with better fuel efficiency and quieter operation.
This new technology builds on Ford’s award-winning modular V-8 engine platform, while taking advantage of the capabilities offered by modern electronic controls. It is important to note that it isn’t a single technology, but rather a suite of enhancements, that deliver these consumer benefits.
The new 24-valve engine will be Ford’s first modular V-8 to use variable-cam timing (VCT). The VCT design allows Ford engineers to optimize intake-and exhaust-valve actuation across the rev range. It represents the industry’s first mass application of dual-equal variable-cam timing, which shifts the intake and exhaust valve timing together.
“Our commitment to Canada is strong, and getting stronger,” noted Batty. In addition to putting the final touches on the Windsor expansion program, this year alone Ford of Canada has completed a $150 million expansion at St. Thomas Assembly Plant and committed $600 million toward the production of the next generation Ford Windstar and new Mercury Monterey at Oakville Assembly Plant.
Ford of Canada’s operations include a national headquarters, six regional offices, six vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants, two parts distribution centres, and affiliates including Ford Credit, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Hertz. Ford is also a joint- venture partner in two Canadian-based plants that produce aluminum engine castings. In all, these operations employ more than 16,000 people. In addition, over 21,000 Canadians are employed in the 515 Ford and Ford-Lincoln dealerships located in all provinces and two territories. Last year, revenues for Canadian operations were $21.6 billion, making Ford of Canada one of the country’s largest privately-held companies. Since 1990, Ford has invested nearly $9 billion in its Canadian operations. For more information, please visit www.ford.ca.
* Approx. $485 million USD.