Reopened to build 3.5 twin turbo V6 for MKS, MKT, Taurus SHO and Flex
03-02-09: In a time when plant closures and layoffs are in the headlines, Ford is resuming production at its storied Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, which becomes the first manufacturing site to build Ford’s new fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines. The plant closed in 2007 but has been retooled to produce the new high performance 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engines that will be optional on the 2010 Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Ford Flex and come standard on the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.
The new engine combines direct injection technology and turbo-charging to improve fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, the first V-6 direct-injection twin-turbocharged engine produced in North America. In the new 2010 Taurus SHO the engine cranks out a staggering 365hp. The engine has also been rumored to be coming to the Mustang at some point soon.
Ford invested $55 million for tooling and equipment upgrades at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 to build the EcoBoost engine. Approximately 250 employees will form the shift to build the engine. To assure the long term job outlook, the Cleveland Engine Plant has been outfitted with a new flexible manufacturing system for powertrains, featuring modern machine tools that easily can be retooled and reprogrammed to perform new tasks with minimal disruption to production.
New tooling and procedures will increase quality too. A new, internal database will ensure quality is built into the engine from the outset. During production, each engine built at the plant will have a sophisticated engine “birth history” that allows plant engineers to track every stage of production. The engine history, maintained in a microchip database, will include hundreds of metrics and allows engineers to trace the precise path taken by any part so any quality control issue can be traced back to its source.
Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 opened in 1951 as Ford’s first engine plant in Ohio. Since then it has produced more than 35 million engines including 24.3 million engines in the famous 302 and 5.0-liter V-8 family. In 2004, Ford invested $350 million into the plant for redesign and installation of an all-new assembly line as well as block, crankshaft and cylinder head machining lines.