Henry Ford and his team were visionaries, carefully planning facilities and assembly lines to maximize efficiency, quality, and cost savings. Ford continues that philosophy today with the development of the world’s first all-aluminum body truck, the 2015 F-150. Since mid-September, Ford has been dismantling old assembly lines, removing robots, and installing new equipment to begin assembly of the new truck. Dearborn Truck Plant sits on 1,100 acres and the plant size is an impressive 2,600,000 square feet. Reconfiguring the current layout of the plant to meet the needs for the new all-aluminum 2015 F-150 was no small task. Ford’s philosophy of efficiency created an environmentally conscious culture. Ford worked with Ideal Shield to create an environmentally-friendly process to replace existing safety guardrail that was installed in the Dearborn Truck Plant 13 years ago.
To paint the existing 326 guardrail sections would require 3,260 gallons of paint in a 10-year period and that’s without mentioning labor costs. Dearborn Truck Plant’s industrial guardrail was structurally sound, but the plastic sleeves showed wear and tear from the day-to-day operations and forklift traffic.
Ideal Shield’s solution
Since a majority of the steel was structurally sound, Ideal Shield’s solution was to recondition the existing steel and sleeve it in new plastic, as opposed to installing brand new guardrail – saving Ford an estimated $100,000. Working closely with Ford, Ideal created a solution for an assembly line like process for replacing the plastic sleeves and refabricating the steel post for a base plate installation. The used plastic was recycled for zero waste and steel posts and endcaps were replaced as needed. Guardrail was delivered to Dearborn Truck Plant for on time for installation against tight construction deadlines.