Ford Puts The Focus On Training To Improve Vehicle Quality

2014 Ford Fusion

The 2014 Ford Fusion will be manufactured by workers who’ve received extra training in an effort to improve overall quality and keep launches smooth and on schedule. This extra training will happen at the Flat Rock Assembly plant where new hires have been on the rise.

In the past, workers would be given classroom training and then they’d head directly to the assembly line where they’d be paired up with a more experienced worker. This “buddy up” system has been replaced by much more extensive training.

New workers will now take a five-day hands on course that simulates the factory experience. The goal is to make new hires more comfortable with the basics of their jobs before they ever hit the factory floor.

Training has become more important than ever as Ford ramps up its hiring in an effort to increase vehicle production. They’ve hired 1,400 new workers for the Ford Fusion and since April have been training 150 new employees every week.

The first time Ford tried this simulation training was with the launch of the 2012 Ford Escape. This was at their Louisville plant and it was a smaller program than the one associated with the Fusion. Ford plans to gradually introduce the new training program at all its locations worldwide.

New factory workers in the program spend a full eight-hour day training at each of ten different workstations. In addition to basic skills like learning how to read operator instruction sheets, they’ll also learn about installing electrical connectors, engine build-up and the installation of brake lines and radiator hoses.

There’s also a focus on safety so new hires understand not just what they should and shouldn’t do, but the consequences when safety procedures aren’t followed. This helps instill the confidence needed to quickly and safely perform their new jobs and avoid line stoppages as new hires learn the ropes.

Ford hopes this training will not only increase the quality of the vehicles it rolls out the door, but ensure that launches happen on schedule.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.