Struandale Engine Plant Produces New Ranger Engine Upgrades

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GQEBERHA, South Africa, September 8, 2022 – In preparation for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Ford Ranger later this year, Ford’s Struandale engine plant in Gqeberha has started production of the latest addition to its engine family – the 3.0L V6 Diesel, which will power the top range Range Ranger pick-up models will be produced at the Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria.

This is part of Ford’s R600 million investment in Struandale engine plant operations, which has also facilitated upgrades to the existing assembly line for 2.0L Single Turbo and Bi diesel engines. -Turbo. Design changes and additional engine derivatives have been added for the Next-Gen Ranger, which will be sold locally and exported to more than 100 global markets.

“Modernization and upgrades to the Struandale engine plant began in July 2021, and construction was completed on time in December, ready to begin our tooling trials and pre-production runs this year. in preparation for Work 1 for both engine programs beginning in August. says Shawn Govender, Ford Struandale Engine Plant Manager.

“In its updated and expanded format, the assembly line that now produces the new 3.0L V6 turbodiesel continues with production of the existing 2.2 and 3.2 Duratorq TDCi engines, making it the only such facility in the Ford world that produces both V-configuration and inline engines on the same line,” says Govender. “Although this was a major challenge for our team and required a great deal of creative and innovative thinking, it was essential to make optimal use of our facilities to contain the total investment required and ensure that we are competitive from ‘a unit cost perspective.’

Production begins at Struandale Engine Plant

Based on a flexible production format, with scheduled batches of the two different engine programs being assembled, the line includes 40 stations common to both units and another 25 stations that are unique to the 3.0L V6 Diesel The total installed capacity of this line is 130,000 motors per year.

“Investing in the extension and retooling of this assembly line has allowed us to modernize the facility by introducing the latest advancements in traceability and quality management technologies, including machine positioning systems. highly accurate GPS tools, torque-per-turn monitoring for every engine bolt, and multiple camera stations that validate and record the precise fit of parts throughout the production process,” Govender explains. “This ensures that every engine we produce is of the highest quality and will complement the significant improvements in performance, efficiency and refinement that will characterize the next generation Ranger.

“Our employees have undergone extensive training with our in-house team and global powertrain manufacturing engineering specialists to ensure they are fully equipped to handle the complexity and maximize the efficiency of the flexible production format. for both engine programs.”

The Struandale engine plant is also responsible for machining the cylinder heads of the 3.0L V6 diesel, which is carried out in a completely refurbished facility using new and repurposed machinery that has been updated with the latest tooling, operating and quality control systems.

2.0L Single Turbo and Bi-Turbo

The R600 million investment in the Struandale engine plant has introduced many changes for the latest versions of the highly rated 2.0L Single Turbo and 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engines which will form the base range of the new Ranger. generation. Around 23 design changes have been implemented for the new application, while the number of derivatives produced on the assembly line dedicated to this engine program has increased from nine to 13.

“Most of the updates introduced were aimed at adapting to the design of the next generation Ranger, while other improvements were made to the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics of the engines for even more comfort and refinement,” says Govender. “The quality, reliability and durability of this engine program are exceptional, coupled with superb fuel economy, and these are characteristics that will shine through in the Next-Gen Ranger.”

To meet growing demand for 2.0 liter diesel engines, the plant has grown from the previous two shifts to 2.5 shifts, with total installed capacity to produce up to 120,000 engines per year.

Tested to the limit

As with any new or updated engine program, the new 3.0L V6 diesel and the latest 2.0L single-turbo and twin-turbo engines undergo extensive in-manufacturing and off-line testing. . Additionally, existing Duratorq TDCi engines have also undergone extensive testing to ensure that the advanced production systems, tooling and technologies used on the modernized flexible assembly line meet specifications.

Utilizing the most advanced engine dynamometer to be installed at the Struandale Engine Plant to date, the 3.0L V6 diesel has undergone a rigorous testing regime, including a series of 10 production compliance tests (COP) spanning 20 hours each. It is a standardized control test used to qualify vehicles or components worldwide.

Three 275-hour Engine Fatigue Tests (EFT) were conducted, with the accelerated test assessing the robustness of the engine against structural fatigue caused by repetitive mechanical loads at high speeds and cylinder pressures. Another 100-hour engine fatigue test was also performed as part of the validation process.

Subsequently, a 115-hour GloTherm accelerated dynamometer test was performed to validate the engine sealing system (including the head gasket) and certain engine structural components through exposure to extreme thermal cycling. And, finally, a 150-hour GloSys test was performed to assess engine durability and reliability under simulated customer driving conditions.

On the updated 2.0L SiT/BiT engines, four 20-hour COP tests were performed, along with three 275-hour engine fatigue tests and two 100-hour GloSys tests. Likewise, Duratorq TDCi engines have undergone three 20-hour COP tests and a 154-hour durability test.

“Extensive and rigorous dynamometer testing is essential to validate our employee training, application of production processes and systems, and engine performance and durability as part of our commitment to delivering world-class quality to our customers,” says Govender.

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