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Ford’s MAP for Future Success

Written by Staff. Posted in Ford News, Guest Articles

Published on April 26, 2016 with No Comments

With Ford dedicated to making the auto industry a more environmentally friendly part of the world, merely building a word-class compact car capable of 40 mpg highway—like the all-new Focus—wasn’t enough. The company also wanted to show that its “green” commitment extended to how that car was built. And that’s exactly what has been achieved at the Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP), located in the city of Wayne.

Leveraging strong partnerships with state, county and local governments, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy, Ford invested $550 million to transform the MAP facility into a highly flexible, cutting-edge manufacturing plant. Plus, not only is it building the Focus, but it will soon add the Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid to its roster. That will make MAP the only plant in the world capable of building gas-powered, electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles all on the same production line.

But while these new Fords will have a big impact on the marketplace, the facility at which they’ll be built will have a small impact on the environment. It’s the result of a comprehensive approach to incorporating greener ideas into the manufacturing process, especially in two key areas.

In the paint shop, MAP is the first U.S. plant to commercially use a “three-wet paint application,” as explained by John Nowak, a Ford environmental engineer: “In most other automotive plants, we apply a layer of paint called the primer coat and we bake the unit, and then we put on the base coat and the clear coat, and we bake it again. The three-wet process allows us to put on primer, base and clear, and bake it only once. We save all the electricity from the blowers that run the booths and the ovens, plus all the natural gas from heating the air and the ovens. Ford is leading the way on this greener, cleaner paint process.”

As a result, the vehicle-painting process at MAP will reduce CO2 emissions by 6,000 metric tons per year as compared to waterborne paints systems and by 8,000 metric tons as compared to conventional solvent-borne finishes, while saving about $3 million. All without compromising the company’s paint quality or durability.

MAP also showcases one of Michigan’s largest solar power generation systems, as well as 10 electric-vehicle charging stations. The former will help save approximately $160,000 each year in energy costs, while the latter will be used to charge the electric switcher trucks that shuttle parts between nearby facilities, which is expected to save 86,000 gallons of gas per year.

It all brings high praise from Ford’s Mark Fields, president of The Americas, for both the Focus and the plant at which it’s built: “MAP epitomizes the best of what Ford stands for—fuel efficiency, quality, smart technology,” while “Focus delivers even more of what customers truly want and value—and this new car could not arrive in the market at a better time.”

In fact, for Focus shoppers, that time is right now.

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Fords Magazine Staff is a group of car lovers, editors, and writers who have a passion for Ford Motors. Besides being all around car nerds and proud owners of Fords, our staff is dedicated to providing you breaking news, reviews, and tutorials.

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