The Ford Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth has successfully implemented its production expansion with the installation of a new assembly line for the new-generation 2.0 Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo diesel engines used in the New Ford Ranger, the first-ever Ranger Raptor and the New Everest.
The expansion also introduced higher production capacities for the component machining and engine assembly for the Duratorq TDCi engines that are used in selected Ford Ranger and Everest models, and supplied to customer plants around the world.
The production expansion formed part of a R3-billion investment announced in 2017 for Ford’s South African operations at the Struandale Engine Plant, as well as the Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria.
The official announcement of the new diesel engine programme took place in March 2018, with the first production-ready engines produced at the end of last year in the new 3 868m2 facility in preparation for the recent market introduction of the latest Ranger and Everest models.
“Last year was extremely busy for the Struandale Engine Plant as we went through the build-up phase for the new Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines, increased our capacity and added 22 new derivatives of the Duratorq TDCi engines, while simultaneously continuing with the existing machining and assembly operations for the existing engine programme,” says Plant Manager John Cameron.
“The launch was successfully signed off on time and we have been ramping up our production to meet the growing demand locally and internationally,” Cameron adds. “We are exceptionally proud that the Struandale Engine Plant is now responsible for two important engine programmes with a record installed capacity for up to 250 000 engines per year.”
The Port Elizabeth plant is capable of producing up to 120 000 Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines annually. All of these units are supplied to Silverton for installation in the New Ranger and New Everest models, with around two thirds destined for 148 global export markets and the balance sold locally.
The Duratorq TDCi engine programme has an installed capacity for up to 130 000 Duratorq TDCi engines which are also supplied to Silverton for local vehicle production, as well as exported to customer plants in North America, China, Turkey, Russia and Italy.
Additionally, the Struandale Engine Plant has reached its highest installed capacity yet for machining up to 280 000 component sets for the Duratorq TDCi engines, comprising cylinder heads, blocks and crankshafts. These are used for local engine assembly, and exported to Ford engine assembly plants in Thailand and Argentina.
As part of the upgrades, a new 5 418 m2 warehouse was built on the Struandale site to house all the required parts, components and tools on-site to maximise production efficiency for the two engine programs.