The Best In Engineering Leadership? The 2015 F-150!
Pete Reyes, chief engineer of the 2015 F-150, and his team have been awarded the engineering leadership award from the Detroit Free Press.
As you’re all aware, the new truck is built in a high-strength steel frame with an aluminum alloy body. To build a vehicle out of so much aluminum at the rate in which they need to is a huge achievement. It’s a process that started in 2008 and has developed since. It was also wrought with challenges.
In the beginning, a small team was brought together to look at the new truck from both a steel and aluminum perspective. Two aluminum prototypes were built in 2009 to be presented to Ford along with a feasibility analysis of the truck. Upon seeing the research, Ford approved production of the aluminum truck.
From there, they were off to the races. The team size swelled to over 400 people as they began working with different materials to construct the truck.
But not only were the engineers tasked with making the construction of the aluminum work, but also adding new and innovative technologies to the truck. One of the ones Reyes is most proud of is the BoxLink system. That type of customization hasn’t been available to truck buyers before.
In 2014, Ford sold a new F-150 every 42 seconds. One truck rolls off the assembly line in Dearborn a minute. In order for the aluminum F-150 to be successful, they would have to produce at least that many trucks. New manufacturing equipment was needed. New logistics needed to be planned.
Bringing it all together required a lot of teamwork and leadership from Ford. Reyes has been rewarded for his work with the F-150 by being promoted to the director of global commercial vehicles in London.
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photos via [Ford]