In an organized chaos colorfully described as “synchronized Transformers dancing,” Ferrous Processing & Trading (FPT) assisted Ford Motor Company in a landmark changeover of its Dearborn Truck Plant. Starting on August 24th, the automaker had eight weeks to remove all the equipment and tooling at the southeast Michigan manufacturing facility and replace it with new machinery. The unprecedented body shop conversion was necessary because the Ford F-150 produced at the plant is moving to an all aluminum body beginning with its 2015 model.
FPT was awarded the scrap removal contract by Ford Land Development because in the words of Chris Heil, Asset Scrap Manager with the automaker’s real estate division, “Ferrous Processing & Trading Co. is the only company who can handle this size of job.” From August 24 to August 29, working 24 hours a day, FPT moved 383 loads of tear-out scrap from the Dearborn plant to its Detroit-based main yard.
The feat was so impressive that, through his project team, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields congratulated FPT for doing a tremendous job. The completion of the project on time was critical to the success of the body shop transformation and launch of the new F-150. Ford sells approximately 60,000 F-150s a month. Therefore, returning to full production as quickly as possible is crucial to maintaining the company’s revenues. Retooling the Dearborn plant is a $359 million investment for automaker, with a comparable amount to be spent at its second pickup assembly plant in Kansas City, Missouri.
“We moved 5,400 tons of demo scrap in just five days,” said Kevin Hopps, Account Executive at Ferrous, explaining the enormity of the operation. “The FPT team had a detailed plan that accounted for the movements of 15 trucks each day.”
With this major project – and kudos from the top – under their belt, FPT looks forward to repeating the process at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. The Missouri plant will shut down in early 2015 for its body shop changeover. “We look forward to applying the same dedication and effort in this second transformation,” stated Hopps.
Ford Land’s Heil said, “I’d like to extend a special thanks to those who were instrumental in coordinating this significant project, including FPT’s Kevin Hopps, Brian McMahon, Steve Benacquisto, Mike Benacquisto, as well as Kee Trucking, EHS Trucking, HMT Trucking and The Farrow Group.”