Ford Leads Auto Industry in Using 3D Imaging to Improve Quality, Making F-Series Trucks Even Tougher, Quieter

  • Ford now using 3D mapping to better analyze rear truck axles for problems that could affect reliability; technology also provides for a smoother, quieter ride in F-Series pickups
  • Photogrammetric pattern reader (PPR) technology instantly stitches together 9,000 images of truck axles during assembly for 3D analysis
  • PPR automated analysis provides faster and more efficient assessment over manual visual inspections

DEARBORN, Mich., May 28, 2013 – Ford engineers are using 3D mapping in what is believed to be the technology’s first application in the auto industry to better analyze rear axle parts of F-Series pickups during assembly, leading to a smoother, quieter ride for drivers of Ford trucks.

Similar to Google Earth, which uses three-dimensional imaging to map the world, Ford’s photogrammetric pattern reader (PPR) uses a pair of digital cameras to combine photos of the axle gears into a series of 3D pictures that are compared against an ideal computer model of the gears. Gears that don’t meet “Built Ford Tough” specifications are discarded.

“PPR technology is the next evolution in quality control for our commercial trucks,” said David Gravel, an engineer in Ford’s advanced manufacturing group. “While traditional, visual inspections of our axle gears ensure we’re delivering dependable, tough trucks to our customers, this new technology allows us to conduct our inspections faster, and at a level of detail the human eye just cannot discern.

“We constantly look for ways to go further for our customers,” he added, “and this system is one example of how we are making our trucks even more reliable.”

Ford’s system uses line scan cameras and infrared lights to turn a series of two-dimensional image slices into a single three-dimensional image for analysis. It was developed with Madison, Wis.-based Automated Vision and ATM Automation in Livonia, Mich.

“This technology is part of a trend where companies like Ford are using advanced automation to increase accuracy and consistency in production,” said Nan Zhang, a scientist at Automated Vision. “Computer vision is booming and is a very important topic for the next decade.”
Now in use at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., PPR stations are being rolled out in Ford plants worldwide.

How does it work?
The complex curvature of the hypoid gears used on the rear axle ring and pinion makes it impossible to see both sides of each gear tooth in a single image. The two cameras used on the inspection rig capture 9,000 1024x1-pixel images from each side of every gear tooth in a matter of seconds as the gears rotate. The processing system contains a digital model of the gear profile that is then used to stitch these images together and flatten out the gear teeth into a single 3D panoramic image that can easily be scanned to ensure the teeth are meshing correctly.

Any parts that show anomalies that could cause noise or durability issues are scrapped. On average, only two to five parts per every 1,000 parts fall outside the tight tolerance range for acceptability.
# # #
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.


Featuring The 3-Piece Harbor Raised Cargo Bed Enclosure

The Raised Cargo Bed Enclosure is an excellent addition to make a service body even more useful. It provides protection for all your tools, equipment and parts inside the bed. If you add a Bedslide, then everything is protected and accessible. The Bedslide makes access to your part or a tool a "piece of cake".

This installation includes the 3-piece Harbor Cargo Bed Enclosure which opens up two thirds of the bed when you roll it ahead. It includes Teflon-R pads reduce rolling resistance. The Teflon Pads make it slide easy and quiet and it operates in virtually any weather conditions. The 3-piece enclosure  allows for direct access to the bed contents by pushing the top ahead. This would allow heavy objects to be loaded by crane and allows positioning objects without crouching or bending over!

Notice the Harbor Master Lock System and the Harbor pop-out locks! When the lock is unlocked the button is out so you can see that it is unlocked. When locked the button is in. Easy to see from a distance of 50' or more.

Also, this unit has the nice Harbor forklift loadable rack and the rack-straps attached! This  9' model is extremely functional for a wide range of business applications.

Visit the Harbor Truck Bodies website at www.htbi.net.


Ford Accepts Better Buildings Challenge as Only U.S. Automaker To Pledge Energy Reduction

Ford is the only U.S. automaker to accept the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge – President Obama’s initiative to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings. Ford will reduce energy consumption in 25 plants covering 61 million square feet – the equivalent of more than 1,000 football fields – over 10 years. The initiative will help the automaker continue its long-term commitment to protecting the environment by improving its manufacturing techniques. Ford has received national recognition for its responsible use of natural resources, including paint process improvements, retooling of manufacturing facilities with energy-efficient equipment and large-scale lighting replacements. An illustration of the Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge can be found here.


Ford Motor Company and Its Dealers Pledge $400,000 for Oklahoma Tornado Relief; Ford Transit Connect Donated

  • Ford Motor Company and its dealers announce $400,000 in donations following the destructive Oklahoma tornadoes
  • Donations include $250,000 from Ford Motor Company Fund to the American Red Cross and $150,000 from Oklahoma Ford Dealers to the United Way
  • Ford Motor Company also is donating a Ford Transit Connect van to the American Red Cross, and providing $500 for drivers with tornado-damaged vehicles in affected areas toward the purchase of a new Ford vehicle
DEARBORN, Mich., May 22, 2013 – As Oklahoma residents struggle to rebuild their lives after this week’s devastating tornadoes, Ford Motor Company and its dealers are donating $400,000 to assist with relief efforts. Ford Motor Company also is donating a Ford Transit Connect van to the American Red Cross for relief services and emergency preparedness education.
Ford Motor Company Fund will match donations up to $250,000 from its employees, dealers and the public in support of relief efforts by the American Red Cross.
The Oklahoma Ford Dealers group is contributing $150,000 to the United Way.
Also, Ford Motor Company is providing $500 in new vehicle purchase assistance to residents in affected areas whose vehicles were damaged by the tornadoes.
“The impact of these tornadoes is devastating on thousands of families,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We know there is great need for assistance, and Ford, its dealers and employees are coming together to provide needed resources. Please join us by donating through the link below.”
Donations made through this link will be matched by Ford Motor Company up to $250,000: http://american.redcross.org/ford-pub.
“Oklahoma Ford dealers encourage everyone to step up to help those impacted by these devastating tornadoes,” said Craig Billingsley, chairman of the Oklahoma Ford Dealers.
“We know how much this tragedy is impacting our customers, neighbors and friends,” he added.
Ford Motor Company is an active partner in the Red Cross Disaster Responder program. Through this program, a select group of companies pledge donations on an ongoing basis in advance of major disasters, which helps the Red Cross ensure an immediate response to meet the needs of those affected by disasters. Ford Motor Company has partnered with the American Red Cross for more than 30 years.
# # #
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.


Knapheide Forestry Body Video Training Series - Chapter 3

An overview of the standard features of the Knapheide Extreme Security Forestry Storage Pack with power latching. For more information on Knapheide and our products, please visit www.knapheide.com


Knapheide Forestry Body Video Training Series - Chapter 2

An overview of the standard features of the Knapheide Extreme Security Forestry Storage Pack. For more information on Knapheide and our products, please visit www.knapheide.com


Knapheide Forestry Body Video Training Series - Chapter 1

An overview of the standard features of the Knapheide Forestry Body. For more information on Knapheide and our products, please visit www.knapheide.com


Strategic Vision: Ford Fusion, Ford F-250/F-350 Are Quality Leaders

The 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Ford F-250/F-350 are No. 1 in their segments in Strategic Vision’s 18th annual Total Quality Index™ study. Fusion is Total Quality winner among midsize sedans and F-250/F-350 tops the heavy-duty pickup truck segment for Total Quality. Research consultants for more than 35 years,

Strategic Vision accurately measures the most meaningful quality experiences products generate in order to capture the hearts and minds of consumers’ decision making. With its leading fuel economy, technology and game-changing looks, Fusion commands top quality honors in the highly competitive midsize car segment. Fusion had best-ever April sales of 26,722 cars, a 24 percent increase over record 2012 levels. Strongest retail sales increases for Fusion continue to come from the western and southeastern U.S. – with sales in the west doubling and southeast sales up 70 percent.

Ford F-250/F-350’s segment-best fuel economy, class-leading power, towing and payload make it the top quality choice among heavy-duty pickups. Click here to read more on Strategic Vision’s 2013 Total Quality Index study.


From Rack-It - A Sharp, Black, Able and Well-Protected F150 Supercab

Check out this custom rack we built for a Ford F150 with a Leer Camper Shell. The customer requested we use a woven wire style mesh system allthe way up and down the cargo area of the rack.

We normally do not stock this material, but we were able to source it out quickly and get this rack on the customers truck. This 3000 Series model was powder coatedgloss black and really looks great on this customers rig.

Notice the detail in the way the woven steel mesh is attached to the pipe. Every Connection is welded and smoothed -out. Also notice the extra middle, longitudinal pipe support.

Then this 3000 Series model was powder coated gloss black. Let us weave you one!

To find out more, you may call Rack-It truck racks at 800-445-7666.
Also find us at http://rackitinc.com/


Concrete Cutters Love The Harbor Saw Body!

Concrete Cutting contractors love the Harbor Saw Body. Mounted on a Ford Superduty chassis, it's as functionally effective as it is good looking. Notice the huge locking compartments to keep large saw blades and other gear out of the weather and out of sight. The full-size conventional lift gate serves two purposes, one being the obvious one to lift the equipment onto the bed area and the other to
provide a backstop to secure the equipment in place and prevent it from rolling off the back of the bed!

See more Saw Bodies at http://www.htbi.net/truckbodies/sawbody.html

Visit the Harbor website at www.htbi.net.


It's All Within Reach With The Masterack DuraRac® Shelving System

Ford E-Series

DuraRac® Shelving System - The DuraRac® Interior Shelving System lets you slide the entire storage system outside your vehicle for easy access. Your van's interior storage has never been used so efficiently! No crawling into the van on an unseen object or tool, pullout shelves bring everything within easy reach! Standard configuration includes three shelves that can be easily adjusted to fit your needs.

Features and Benefits:
  • Commercial grade-drawer slides that extend fully. Heavy duty modular system.
  • Easily add shelves, drawers, and dividers.
  • Trade packages available for caterers, florists, parcel delivery, painters, and general contractors, call for details.
Find Out More at: http://www.masterack.com/

To find out more, you may call Harbor Truck Bodies at
Also find us at http://htbi.net/


Sharp Ford Superduty With The New PGND Gooseneck Body From Knapheide

The PGND Gooseneck Body completes the full line of Gooseneck Bodies from Knapheide.

The Knapheide Manufacturing Company is excited to announce the latest new product release, the PGND Gooseneck Body.  The PGND Gooseneck Body rounds out the complete line-up of Gooseneck Bodies offered by Knapheide.  This new model combines the secure storage of a Service Body with the hauling ability of a Gooseneck Body.  Knapheide's Gooseneck Platforms include the value priced PGNA, feature packed PGNB, premier stylized PGNC, and now the deluxe PGND.

PGND models are available for 56" CA and 60" CA single and dual rear wheel chassis and 84" CA dual rear wheel chassis.  The following standard features are available on every PGND Gooseneck Body:
  •     Rugged 14 gauge, two-sided A-40 galvanneal steel body shell
  •     Lockable front vertical compartment, horizontal flip top compartment, and rear compartment on each side of body for secure storage of tools and equipment
  •     Bright aluminum tread plate trim installed on the bulkhead and the tops of each flip top compartment
  •     Formed, integrated bulkhead with screened window and tapered design to conform to cab contours for improved visibility
  •     Integrated LED S/T/T and B/U lights installed in the tail skirt and bulkhead
  •     Under the floor gooseneck hitch system with 2-5/16" ball installed and hinged access door that creates flush cargo floor
  •     Integrated Class V receiver hitch at rear of platform rated at 12,000 lbs.
  •     Complete immersion in Knapheide's electrodeposition prime paint system for superior corrosion resistance
  •     Durable oven-cured, finish painted black
  •     And many, many more...
    The PGND Gooseneck Body is suited for a wide variety of vocational applications including mining, agriculture, and many more.


    Ford Adding 2,000-Plus Jobs at Kansas City Assembly to Support Surging F-150 Demand, Ford Transit Launch

    • Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant will add more than 2,000 jobs  to support high demand for Ford F-150 plus the planned production of the all-new Transit family of commercial vehicles starting next summer; more than 1,000 will be new hires
    • Ford F-Series sales up 24 percent in April and 19 percent year to date; full-size truck segment growing three times faster than industry average and is fastest-growing segment this year
    • Ford has reached 75 percent of its goal to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015
    KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 2, 2013 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, will add more than 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to meet surging demand for the Ford F-150 and planned production of the all-new Ford Transit.

    “Customer demand for today’s F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we are going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.”

    Ford is adding 900 jobs and a third crew in the third quarter to build F-150. U.S. sales of Ford’s F-Series trucks increased 24 percent in April and 19 percent year to date. Ford also is adding another 1,100 jobs starting in the fourth quarter to prepare for the introduction of the all-new Ford Transit full-size van in 2014.

    “For customers who want a modern van that is as tough and smart as the F-Series, the all-new Ford Transit van delivers, with better fuel economy, more capability and the greatest number of technology choices and innovative configurations full-size van buyers have ever seen,” Hinrichs said.

    Kansas City Assembly
    Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150 Regular, Super and Crew Cab and will produce the Ford Transit. The plant currently has 2,450 hourly workers working on two shifts and will add a third crew in the third quarter.

    Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility for production of both the F-150 and Transit, including a 437,000 sq.-ft. stamping facility and a 78,000 sq.-ft. paint shop.
    The new stamping facility was completed in 2012. The paint shop expansion will include installation of the three-wet paint process, which is more environmentally friendly and requires less time than conventional paint processes – without compromising Ford’s paint quality or durability.

    “Today we celebrate the commitment to excellence displayed every day by the men and women of Kansas City Assembly Plant," said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department. “These additional jobs are the direct result of the dedicated effort our UAW members display every day at facilities all across the country and serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation's manufacturing sector.”

    With the investment and new jobs in Kansas City, Ford is three-quarters of the way to its plan to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015. The company also is investing $16 billion in its U.S. product development and manufacturing operations – including $6.2 billion in plant-specific investments. These actions, including today's announcements, are consistent with Ford’s previous 2013 financial guidance for the Total Company and North America.

    Community Impact
    The plant expansion has a major impact in the local community and beyond. Kansas City Assembly has more than 250 suppliers nationally and more than 10 suppliers locally who will positively benefit from the addition of a third crew. Additionally, when Transit production starts next year, close to 275 suppliers nationally and six suppliers locally will grow their business. According to the job multiplier effect of nine jobs to every one – more than 18,000 jobs will be created to support the plant.

    “Today’s announcement is yet another testament to our successful efforts to revitalize Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry, which continues to gain steam,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. “This third crew for production of the F-150 will create hundreds of additional manufacturing jobs for workers in this region and ensure Missouri continues to lead the rebirth of the American auto industry for years to come.”

    Ford F-150
    The “Built Ford Tough” F-150 delivers the segment’s best combination of power, capability, safety and fuel economy.

    F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 65th year, F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 36 consecutive years, the best-selling vehicle in America for 31 consecutive years and the brand with the most trucks on the road with more than 250,000 miles, as certified by Polk.

    The Kansas City-built F-150 is the first choice for tradespeople who need the most durable, advanced in the market truck. For example, F-150 leads in a variety of fields, including:
    • 62 percent market share in road and highway maintenance
    • 68 percent share in hazardous materials work
    • 67 percent share in the oil pipeline industry
    F-150 also boasts leading safety ratings. F-150’s fully boxed frame, made from high-strength hydroformed steel, provides a backbone built for increased durability and safety. F-150 has earned top safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    Overall, F-150 offers customers the broadest lineup in the segment, with 10 models that include work-ready XL, sporty and capable FX, well-balanced XLT, refined and luxurious Limited and the no-compromise off-road SVT Raptor.

    The Ford F-150 also features an unrivaled four engine choices, including the advanced 3.5-liter EcoBoost, to help customers find the most fuel-efficient and capable engine to meet their needs. Ford’s patented EcoBoost engine delivers an unmatched combination of best-in-class towing and payload, torque and fuel economy. More than 300,000 EcoBoost engines have been sold for F-150 and it is now Ford’s best-selling truck engine.

    Ford Transit
    The familiar van that delivers packages or shuttles airport passengers is about to change in a revolutionary way. The all-new Ford Transit will provide tradespeople and businesses with unmatched fuel economy, innovative new configurations and leading versatility in the expanding commercial vehicle market.

    Transit is born from nearly a century of hard-earned experience delivering two distinct full-size vans to customers in America, Europe and other global markets. For the U.S., Transit eventually replaces E-Series, first sold in 1961 as Ford Econoline and America’s best-selling commercial van for 34 years. Transit was first sold in 1965. It’s the best-selling commercial van in Europe.

    Customers will have more choices than ever from a Ford van. Transit will be offered in three body lengths; two wheelbases; three roof heights. Cargo volume ranges from about 250 to almost 500 cubic feet – more than twice the volume of today’s standard E-Series, saving the customer fuel costs and the time and hassle of a second trip.

    Designed and developed to provide efficient service over the long haul, Ford Transit will be at least 25 percent more fuel efficient than today’s E-Series, helping save Transit owners thousands of dollars in fuel costs during its service life.

    Transit has been tested to the “Built Ford Tough” truck standards at Ford’s proving grounds and in the hands of real-world fleet customers in North America.
    # # #
    About Ford Motor Company
    Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.


    Ford Cab-Chassis or E-Series Cutaway - There's a Body to Meet Your Needs

    Work Trucks: Give us your requirements, we'll  choose the right chassis, body and equipment to meet your needs.

    Some examples of work trucks built to customer influenced specifications:

    This Knapheide Crane / Service Body was outfitted 
    with A Steller Industries Crane and a Tommy Gate Liftgate.
    Find out more about these products at:

    Here is a Thieman Railgate mounted on a Knapheide Stakebed
    Find out more about these products at:

    And here is a Knapheide KUV Body mounted on a Ford Cutaway. It sports a custom roof rack with over-cab extension. Many customers choose the KUV because of the benefit of organizing and locking up their equipment, tools and inventory securely. The KUV also provides for safely carrying and securing conduit and pipe.

    Find out more at: http://www.knapheide.com 

    All three units were built by California Work Trucks in Union City, CA.