Robots do NOT build cars - type's'
Ford are planning to cut a further 14000 jobs in the USA & Canada which is very tragic news for those effected.

The reason I mention this sad news though is that I read so many times on this forum that "robots build cars" and I want to make people realise that robots do not build cars - people do.
Robots weld cars then after that they are hand built.
Ford are not scrapping 14000 robots.

That is why it is so improtant to invest in proper process engineering as the Japanese do and the others are copying.
Robots do NOT build cars - No FM2R
As I understand they've offered the entire workforce voluntary redundancy on a basis that averages out around $100k per person. VOLUNTARY !

Seems to me that out of 72,000 there might well be 2% who would find that offer attractive and wouldn't feel hard done by at all.

Of course, that's not very sensational so obviously not a reporting approach which will receive much of a following.

>>I want to make people realise that robots do not build cars - people do

No, Ford do. But they don't sell enough. Do you seriously believe that Ford have worked out that robots don't help them, that they need all those people, but there'll get rid of them anyway ? They might be making the wrong move, but you have to assume that they're trying to get it right.

But again, conspiracy theories are soooo much more fun.

>>invest in proper process engineering as the Japanese do

Mmmmm.

www.univ-evry.fr/labos/gerpisa/actes/30/30-7.pdf
Robots do NOT build cars - type's'
No FM2R - could you explain what the attached has to do with process engineering - having skimmed through it I have noticed 72% of Japanese car workers would not change their job - but what has this to do with process engineering ?
It goes on to say that 94.6% of Japanese car employees think their companies are fair and sociable.
What point are you trying to make ?

And on the subject of "Do you seriously believe that Ford have worked out that robots don't help them, that they need all those people, but there'll get rid of them anyway" - They are not replacing them with robots - they will just not make so many cars because they are being hammered on their home turf by Toyota and Honda.
The reality is that Toyota will become No1 world car maker and I think this actually worries them slightly because it may involve sanctions from the US government.
It would probably suit Toyota to be No2 in terms of volume and remain more profitable.

I cannot really make out what you are saying ??
Robots do NOT build cars - lordy
No, robots don't build cars. But then again, robots haven't negotiated the pension deals which are crippling the American motor industry. 8-(


--
let me be the last to let you down....
Robots do NOT build cars - Aprilia
No, robots don't build cars. But then again, robots haven't negotiated
the pension deals which are crippling the American motor industry.
8-(


Snag is, robots don't buy cars either - as someone once said to the original Mr Ford! Unfortunately we are stuck with human workers who want healthcare and have the unfortunate habit of living on well beyond their retirement age.
Robots do NOT build cars - Stuartli
>>Seems to me that out of 72,000 there might well be 2% who would find that offer attractive and wouldn't feel hard done by at all.>>

I think you can very, very substantially multiply your figure of two per cent.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Robots do NOT build cars - Daedalus
Robots certainly help to build them and people can help or hinder in the manufacture as suits them at that time. The robot will do what it's told to do all day long barring electro/mechanical problems, or someone programming it wrong, but then thats a people issue.

Ford are in a mess because they "build" cars nobody wants (my Mondewoe put me off). They do build them to SPC (Statisical Process Control) standards that they have developed and as far as I can make out talking to a highly regarded Process Improvement "Consultant" the paperwork is superb. Pity about the cars. This consultant uses the Toyota method for all processes and minimises paper and improves production. Look at Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc. They build good cars because of good design and good people participation from the beginning of the process to the end of the process with a minimisation of paper.

The people are the most important asset, but if they are poorly led, building poorly designed products for a market that does not want them, then no matter how good the people are the products will not sell.

As you say PPE, Proper Process Engineering. Get the product and people right and you will sell it!!

Daedalus
Robots do NOT build cars - Marc
Robots built the Fiat Strada, the TV advert from the early 80s said so

Sorry, couldn't resist throwing that one in.
Robots do NOT build cars - GregSwain
Robots built the Fiat Strada, the TV advert from the early
80s said so
Sorry, couldn't resist throwing that one in.


They weren't as artistic as the robots that Citroen bought for the Picasso!
Robots do NOT build cars - Altea Ego
Robots built the Fiat Strada

And what a pigs ear they made of that!
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Robots do NOT build cars - Aprilia
Maybe if Ford sacked a few of its many accountants and employed a few more engineers and designers it might sell more cars.
Robots do NOT build cars - Stuartli
>>it might sell more cars.>>

Yet the Focus was the top seller in the UK for more years than I care to remember from its launch.

So it must have been doing something right in this instance.

There are also quite a lot of Mondeos and Fiestas around.

From what I gather from TV news the UK won't be hit anywhere near as hard as in the States.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Robots do NOT build cars - Blue {P}
Ford of Europe is one of the few profit making arms of Ford, if anything I dare say they are helping to prop up the American arm which has been struggling just a bit lately...

Blue
Robots do NOT build cars - type's'
They do build them to SPC (Statisical Process Control) standards that they have developed <<


And the ironly in all this is that Edward Deming a US statistician tried to get the American and European Auto Industry to adopt Walter Shewharts SPC techniques. They all ignored him and so immediately after WW2 he went to Japan where he was welcomed with open arms.
Most Japanese Industry adopted his teaching and are now wiping the floor with their US & European competitors.
Robots do NOT build cars - Mr.Tee.43
Who was it that made the pertinent comment , " And how many cars do robots buy ? "
Robots do NOT build cars - Clanger
Robots built the Fiat Strada
And what a pigs ear they made of that!
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >


Are Mrs H and I the only 2 people alive who enjoyed their Fiat Strada? Comfortable, rustless, economical and generally reliable. In 2 years we had one breakdown, easily fixed by a friendly RAC chap.
Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Robots do NOT build cars - NowWheels
Are Mrs H and I the only 2 people alive who
enjoyed their Fiat Strada? Comfortable, rustless, economical and generally reliable. In
2 years we had one breakdown, easily fixed by a friendly


I never owned one, but I have abiding memories of a lift across Ireland in a 6-month-old Ritmo (they was only called Strada in the UK). The Ritmo began to leak from the radiator, so the owner got us to the corner store, and bought half-a-dozen eggs which he cracked into the radiator.

We did get to our destination, but since then I have always associated the Ritmo with the smell of poached egg ..
Robots do NOT build cars - mk124
Just found this thread......

I have to say this robots V people debate has some bizzare arguments in it. For starters it is clear that without people a world with just robots would not do a thing. To produce a good/service humans are needed somewhere.
But car makers, like most manufacturing industries are becoming increasingly capital intensive. That is that technology is moving on so that one worker can control more 'robots' over time. What Ford is doing is changing the mix of workers V capital, as technology demands.
The present struggles of car makers in the US owe a lot to industry stucture. To pick airlines as another struggling industry as another example is sensible. The airline industry has/still is losing money, even though one of the main airlines has been declared bankrupt about 3 times in it's life and in the last few years they have expanded capacity, even when they lost money.
The charactisic that is the same within the airline and motor manufacting industries is that they are both oligopolistic, that is they have only a limited number of firms in. Although both industries have stong unions, if the unions are industy wide they do not make much diffrence when considering the profitablity of the industry as a whole. The thing if if unions are only strong within firms of a certain nationality (eg US or French) only those firms will suffer from union pressure. Union pressure will increase the costs of those firms affected and thus they will yeild market share to the less unionised firms. The diffrences in how the U.S and Japanese auto labour markets work cannot be overstated. The system of retirement benifits is a case in point.
My point about Oligopoly is that firms will have price wars when exess capicity is high and demand is feared to be falling. This happened in the U.S in 2001. The auto industry fearing a fall in demand after september 11th cut prices. When one car firm cuts it's price, all the other firms are likley to do the same, so that they can maintain sales, although industry sales may not change to a great extent.
The problem is compounded when bankrupt firms are in chapter 11. chapter 11 is a U.S bankrupty law that means that firms can continue to trade even when bankrupt, insted of being liquidated and their assets sold off individually. Chapter 11 only applies to firms that are 'economically viable' though. For a firm to be economically vaiable the firm has to be in profit when the firms debts are not taken into consideration. It is assumed that is would not make sense if a firm is declaired bankrupt even though it makes a profit pre debt service, or else that is what I gleam from the economist magazine. I am no expert! A lot has been made of Ford's and GM's debt mountains dragging the firms into bankruptcy. The full extent of a Ford bankruptcy will thus not be the dissulution of the firm. The effect of bankruptcy is likly to be felt in the corporate debt maket, rather than product markets(goods - eg. cars). Ford will remain largly unchanged, yet with it's debts no longer around it's neck Ford will increase it's car making capacity. This cycle has occured in the airline industry already, lets hope it does not affect the U.S car industry.
Aprilia, although you are a university man, your economic reasoning is false when it comes to robots buying cars. Yes robots don't buy cars, rather people with income do. Robots make people more producive, and business + government determines peoples income. If we suddenly bought lots of robots to automate every productive function a lot of people would lose their jobs. However in the end societies income would go up, and depending on how the income distribution within society changed the demand for cars may rise. This effect may even occure within the workfore making cars, but depends on mainly of their income elasticity for cars.
Robots do NOT build cars - Armitage Shanks {p}
Rustless for 2 years? Just better than a Lancia Beta then!
Robots do NOT build cars - Aprilia
mk124 its your reasoning that is wrong. Have you ever actually been inside a US or Japanese (or even European) car plant?
Japanese car workers enjoy some of the best pay and conditions in the world. Ford has to pay high retirement and health benefits because the US government won't - in Japan (as in Europe) the goverment meets many of these costs via public and corporate taxation.

Worker benefits are a 'red herring' though - they are being blown up out of all proportion by a management that knows it has messed up. The US car makers are in trouble mostly because they are making cars that people don't want to buy. And to maintain some sort of level of sales they are having to heavily discount which means that what they ARE selling isn't making them any profits. A lot of their products are 'under engineered' and outdated.
In contrast the Japanese invest heavily in R&D and more thoroughly engineer their products. They have a more progressive management style - rather than the 'command and control' that is so typical of Ford.
As to Ford still being in business in years to come - well, remember what happened with Chrysler?
Robots do NOT build cars - Chris S
Robots built the Fiat Strada

Anyone remember the slogan "Built by robots, not robbos"
Robots do NOT build cars - type's'
Aprilla - I'm with you - I have a family member that works for a Japaenes car plant in the UK and he enjoys a very good salary package for a good days work. The feeling in the plant is that job security is high. They do swap about with their tasks because doing the same 2 minute job everyday all day can lead to RSI etc and they protect their workers against this - that is why the Japaense do the exercise thing - to make sure workers are warmed up before they start their jobs.
He assures me that robots exist in press and weld and that is it. Even more of the paint tasks are being done by people.
All other jobs are done by people as people can learn how to improve the process and if they see something wrong they can stop the line - robots so not know how to do this - yet.
Robors do NOT build cars and Ford are not laying people off to replace them with capital - they are laying people off because everyone in the US and Canada are buying Toyotas and Hondas.
Robots do NOT build cars - BB
As a current Jaguar engineer the main difference between the Japs and ourselves is R&D (FDPS to GPDS for those who know what I am on about)
The design stage is where you need your engineers. Design a product that will fit your generic process. (Design for manufacture.) and spend shedloads of money on engineers who will do all your R&D concurrently with your vehicle cycle development. That way you will be to market a year quicker and are constantly getting new products / processes developed.

Secondly, you need a style that will sell. The Jaguar XJ is an excellent piece of engineering and built as good as any other, but ain't selling due to styling.

Pension costs are another reason why Ford US are in the poo.

Robots do NOT build cars - madf
Reasons for Ford in poo?

Ladder frame chassis
Cart sprung rear suspension.
Concentration on Pickups.
Fuel economy? SUVs /4x4 are exempt from legislation (cos the US car industry lobbied)
Diesels?


The US car industry was and still is about 30 years behind the German/Far East opposition in technology...and has been so since the early 1960s.. (Shows my age but I remember the US car industry continuing on with drum brakes in the 1960s when European makers had gone to discs )..

And don't quote me any Chrysler models as they are effectivly made or designed by MB...


madf
Robots do NOT build cars - Aprilia
BB & madf - I agree totally with both of you!
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car