April 13, 2015
Written by: Irene Wasilewski
Ford recently unveiled their latest F150 model which highlights the Ford’s innovations in design and manufacturing.
Customers had requested a truck that would do more while using less fuel. The latest model boasts a high strength steel frame and an aluminum alloy body that led to approximately 700 pounds in weight reduction. The significant weight savings allows:
- Better braking
- Increased towing capacity
- Increased payload capacity
- Improved handling
- Faster acceleration
- Up to 20% better fuel economy ratings
Within 4 weeks Ford revised their manufacturing line to build the new model. This included 500 robots and all new stamping and assembly equipment.
Ford engineers had to look at advanced technologies for assembly since MIG welding and spot welding aluminum has many technical challenges. They turned to mechanical spot joining technologies such as:
- Self-piercing rivets
- Tested 2 million rivets before production as they expect to use 1.5 billion rivets per year
- High strength adhesive
- Flow drills screws
- Screws that are installed at high speed that extrudes the material before joining the pieces together
- Laser welding
Ford also used new advances in extruding, hydroforming and stamping for the forming operations.This event was a screening at the University of Manitoba of a presentation originally done for the SAE Detroit section.