On Thursday, Ford Motor Co. announced that it has started producing the 2015 Ford Edge at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada. The automaker also mentioned that it is hiring 400 additional employees to support the production of the all-new mid-size crossover.
Ford is employing more people than it has originally planned. Last year, the company announced that it was hiring 1,000 workers to support the assembly of the Ford Edge. The addition of the 1,000 jobs was part of Ford’s C$700 million investment to prepare the Oakville Assembly plant for the manufacture of the new Edge.
The Blue Oval used the aforementioned investment to upgrade the Oakville Assembly plant, which is the company’s only remaining vehicle manufacturing facility in Canada. The factory, which also produces the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT crossovers, was expanded and retooled to be more high-tech.
It was equipped with more than 250 new robots to supplement the 1,000 existing ones that have been upgraded.
The additional robots allow for topnotch-quality vehicle assembly, as these do a number of key tasks. One of these is the application of urethane to glass, a process that keeps wind noise to a minimum and in turn ensures improved vehicle quietness. Another is the installation of components such as doors and hoods. Moreover, new robots do precise seaming of the roof, making it more durable in the process.
Aside from new robotics, Oakville Assembly also has other state-of-the-art technologies. These include a 3D dirt detection system which uses cameras to locate paint imperfections which are not as noticeable to the naked eye. This system is partnered with a technology that guarantees a more durable paint job.
The plant also has a simulation classroom, which was designed for the hands-on training of the 1,400 additional hires.
The 2016 Ford Edge comes with many firsts. This is the first time the crossover was fully redesigned since it debuted in 2007. This is also the first time the Edge is going global: the first-generation was built for the North American market, while the second-generation was created to be sold in various parts of the world. The five-seater will be exported to Western Europe and Asia, among other regions.
Furthermore, the all-new Edge will be the first Ford vehicle to come standard with the company’s new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Oakville Assembly employs about 4,500 workers in three shifts. It will soon start building the 2016 Lincoln MKX SUV.
Photo credit: media.ford.com