Ford puts gremlins in the system

Ford employees are tasked with secretly planting wrong and faulty parts onto the assembly line, as part of a process to ensure all new vehicles built at the plant in Valencia meet Ford’s rigorous quality standards.

Ford employee, Xabier Garciandia’s working day involves literally trying to put a spanner into the works of one of the world’s most advanced auto plants – by making sure wrong parts and faulty components are secretly placed on the assembly line.

Ford’s industry-first Vision System photographs, checks and tracks every single part of each of the 400,000 cars and vans assembled, and 330,000 engines built at the Ford Valencia plant each year.  ‘Gremlin Tests’ are an innovative way of ensuring that each process is working correctly.

‘The Vision System is crucial to ensuring every single part of each vehicle is just right,’ said Garciandia, technical specialist, Valencia Engine Vision System, Ford of Europe. ‘The ‘Gremlin Test’ means we can ensure the system is working perfectly.  It is a game with a very serious point; we are making them harder to spot all the time.’

Ford produces more Ford models at the state-of-the-art Ford mega-plant in Valencia than anywhere else in Europe, including Kuga, Kuga Vignale, Mondeo, Mondeo Vignale, Galaxy, S-MAX and Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect.  Ford’s 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre Ecoboost engines are also built at the plant.

The Vision System captures more than a billion photos every 14 days, comparable to the number of photos uploaded to Instagram throughout Europe.