Ford plant in Windsor being transformed to build new engine
A new seven-litre, V8 truck engine, expected to be called the 7X, should be in production at the Windsor Engine plant's Annex site by the end of the year, was confirmed Thursday
Windsor Star - Kelly Steele - February 15, 2018 | Updated
The $613-million investment Ford of Canada committed to its Windsor operations during 2016 contract negotiations with Unifor is starting to come to life.
A new seven-litre, V8 truck engine, expected to be called the 7X, should be in production at the Windsor Engine plant’s Annex site by the end of the year, it was confirmed Thursday.
“We are going to see equipment come in as early as March,” Tony Savoni, site manager for Ford operations in Windsor, said during a United Way announcement at the Annex off Seminole Street.
“Right now the teams are laying out our strategy for installation. This building will be full and we hope to be moving some parts by November,” he said.
The Annex site has been emptied, floors cleaned and painting done to prepare for the new equipment that will be used to build engines.
Savoni said the block and rod line should arrive in March and by July the crank line, head line and assembly line will be in place. Computer numerical control (CNC) equipment — highly automated machine tools — will be used to build the engines.
It “is the way of the future,” allowing for quick retooling and upgrading for future products, Savoni said. “Within those CNCs there’s some new technology that we are going to teach our people how to use.”
The investment shows faith in the Windsor workforce, he said. “We have a lot of hardworking people that come in here and they understand how to make a good, quality product and they have the pride that goes along with it.”
Engines should be coming off the line by the end of the year, but those will likely be put in test vehicles, he said.
The new V8 engine will replace the 6.8-litre, V10 engine used in Ford’s F-series trucks. Savoni wouldn’t say how many jobs the new engine will create.
Ford agreed to invest $613 million in its Windsor operations as part of its last contract with Unifor, settled in late 2016.
In March 2017, the company announced a $1.2-billion plan to transform its Windsor operations to which the federal and provincial governments are contributing $204.8 million. At the time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the investment would create or maintain 800 jobs.