Ford Engine Plant Bridgend
Applying simulation technologies to improve productivity and profitability in the automotive manufacturing sector.
CAMSAC investigators worked with engineers at Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant to optimise key processes related to engine manufacture, inspection and assembly, with the aim of improving both productivity and profits.
Dr Anthony Soroka, Senior ASTUTE 2020 Project Officer at Cardiff Business School and Paul Prickett, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering established a Knowledge Transfer Partnership that focused on the application of simulation technologies to improving productivity and profitability.
Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant manufactures petrol engines for a range of Ford cars including the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo, and like any other business is always looking to enhance its cost performance.
The aim of this KTP project was to apply discrete-event simulation, intelligent optimisation techniques and ‘Fit’ Manufacturing methods to engine manufacture, inspection and assembly processes in order to identify changes that could be made that would result in both productivity and profitability improvements.
Michael Higgins, the KTP Associate employed by the project, helped achieve considerable costs savings. Following the successful completion of the project he went on to be recruited by Ford Bridgend Engine Plant and is now working as a simulation engineer at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre. He has also been the industrial supervisor on a “live business project” for the LOM MSc programme.
Michael has a first class Honours Degree in mathematics and physics from Cardiff University and has recently submitted an M.Phil thesis based on work undertaken during the KTP.
Michael’s work was co-supervised by David Canfield and Daniel Doherty, who are both industrial Engineers at the Ford Bridgend Engine Plant.
Further information on this project can be obtained by contacting Dr Soroka.
The project was co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Welsh Government.