Ford Motor Company is resuming production at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, which becomes the first manufacturing site to build Ford’s new fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines. The plant, idled since 2007, is ramping up pre-production of 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines that will be optional on the 2010 Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Ford Flex and come standard on the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.
EcoBoost engines, which combine direct injection technology and turbo-charging are a key part of Ford’s overall strategy to improve fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions across its lineup. The engines can achieve up 20% better fuel and 15% lower CO2 emissions compared with larger displacement engines without sacrificing power.
Ford invested $55 million for tooling and equipment upgrades at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 to build the EcoBoost engine. Approximately 250 employees will form the shift to build the engine. The plant will be staffed by employees from the existing three plants at the site.
The Cleveland Engine Plant has been outfitted with a flexible manufacturing system for powertrains, featuring modern machine tools that easily can be retooled and reprogrammed to perform new tasks with minimal disruption to production.
During production, each engine built at the plant will have an engine “birth history” tracked in a database that will include hundreds of metrics and allow engineers to trace the precise path taken by any part so any quality control issue can be traced back to its source.
Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 opened in 1951 as Ford’s first engine plant in Ohio. Since then it has produced more than 35 million engines including 24.3 million engines in the 302 and 5.0-liter V-8 family. In 2004, Ford invested $350 million into the plant for redesign and installation of an all-new assembly line as well as block, crankshaft and cylinder head machining lines.