Factories Maintenance Period - 2020
I greet you all with pride, excitement, and hope following the annual planned maintenance and leave period that we have successfully completed. While informing you about the work we have conducted in this period, I would also like to evaluate the agenda for the rest of the year.
We have effectively and efficiently utilized a remarkable busy working period including new product/vehicle and capacity-increasing projects, machine/equipment renewals, and technical maintenance that will increase product quality. More importantly, we have carried out all our works as planned without any occupational accidents with 55 different business partners and a large team of 2,300 people in total. And following the process, our production began smoothly. In addition to the fact that everyone was healthy, all our equipment work starting with day one, we reached our quality targets and had the planned production figures. The pandemic, which especially marked the second quarter of this year, was our number one priority of the annual planned maintenance period as well. For the first time we carried out maintenance and project works on this scale under the shadow of the pandemic. Each year, our maintenance and project teams and business partners, used to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and would commission the projects that make our company closer to the vision of “Being Turkey’s the Most Valuable and Preferred Industrial Company”. Even though they could not stay shoulder-to-shoulder this year due to the pandemic, they again managed to complete the process in a healthy way in a limited time, without any filiations and occupational accidents, without compromising the use of masks and hygiene rules, despite the hot weather and by paying attention to social distancing measures. I would like to thank everyone who contributed, and I am proud to be a part of this successful and pleasant team.
Along with the technical issues, we made business plans to keep our facilities as new as the first day and to better protect the health of our colleagues in the fight against the pandemic. We overhauled and expanded the locker room and outdoor recreation areas and assembled the sunshades of the additional areas. In addition to the general detailed cleaning, we have almost completely repainted the interior of the workshops.
Although the number of downtime days was limited, we have carried out the most comprehensive maintenance work of the last 5 years. Alone in our Paint workshop, we carried out 728 planned maintenance activities. We renewed the Painting electrocute line conveyor system (consisting of 400 m chain, 46 gears, 58 pendulums), which is a quite comprehensive task that needs to be done every seven years. Within the scope of this project alone, approximately 540 tons of material were brought to the factory by 66 trucks and transferred to the relevant points in the Paint Shop, installed and commissioned with zero error. Along with the replacement of 5 lifts (3 tons of load capacity with strokes varying between 6-12 meters) and 172 special valves in the chemical transfer system, we successfully commissioned 2 critical conveyors in the painting booths at the Paint workshop as well. Considering the workload and the limited time, we have performed a successful rehearsal of the intensive project activities that we are going to face for the next three years.
Transit BEV, electric Transit, is one of the important projects on our company agenda. We have completed the robotic additions required for the body production, painting, and assembly of the vehicle and its battery along with the conveyor and line allocation work in all the workshops. In the scope of the V363 SKD project that would increase our export to South America in the upcoming period, we have successfully commissioned the assembly and automation of 19 conveyors, lifts, transfer equipment in our Paint workshop. We also started our initial basic preparations for the bench investments -which are set to be completed before the V710 project- in the Tool Mold workshop and ordered the benches.
As you know, last year, we were chosen as the leading factory in the world in Industry 4.0 applications. The transformation of our factory colleagues’ competencies and the digitalization of the vehicle production processes accelerated during the maintenance period. We generalized the Lasersonix Q application, which ensures the control of the hard-to-detect problems such as tearing/thinning in Press Manufacturing lines at %100 frequency with the help of sound vibrations, in high-speed Press Manufacturing Line No 30.
Lasersonix Q was born as an innovational idea from our Fikirhane platform, it was developed entirely by our own engineers. And now it is on its way to becoming a commercial venture with being used in Ford's North American factories.
Again, in our Press workshop, we have begun to write code on sheet metal in the Blanking lines where we cut the rolled sheets in appropriate lengths. For the first time in Ford factories, the DataMatrix code is successfully written on sheet metal flowing in parallel with the production speed. It can be said that the digital journey of the sheet has begun as a part of our digital quality management vision.
In the scope of Digital Factory Management infrastructure studies, we have commissioned the SAS - Safety Analytics System application which enables monitoring automation security. Thus, we will be able to monitor PLC security software in real-time which is one of the greatest risks in ensuring occupational security. We have switched to 100% automation in robot programming backup operations as well. Worthy of our smart factory, we have commissioned the dimensional body measurement system integrated to the line -which we had deactivated in the early 2000s due to not achieving effectiveness- with its new technologies. Our young engineers are already designing the digital infrastructure that will ensure monitoring the dimensional measurement systems in our new projects. The practice of designing and commissioning robotic projects to improve the technical competencies of our new colleagues was carried out in our Body Production workshop again this year and 10 robots were commissioned.
In our Assembly workshop, we have created new stations on both Custom and Transit production lines. We did not make any additional investments while creating these stations, and we did not need to expand the workshop. Most importantly, by questioning the status quo, practices that have gained acceptance for years among the established lines were opened to the discussion by our young colleagues with courage. Thus in-line productivity opportunities were revealed. I must say that the value of these additional stations is invaluable considering the principle of distributing processes in accordance with social distancing measures due to the pandemic.
Again, during this planned downtime period, we renewed our water testing exit conveyor with our in-house resources at one-third of the cost. It displayed a valuable example of extending our automation and machine design awards winning manufacturing engineering competencies to conveyor technologies.
In our Yeniköy factory, we continued the construction works in preparation for our new vehicle (V710). Within the scope of the B460 Relocation project, we disassembled the Antifreeze, Transmission oil, AdBlue aboveground tanks, and the R1234yf facility in the Assembly workshop and engaged the equipment in its new location. As for the Paint workshop field, we revised the sludge treatment unit and relocated the generator so that the construction of the new Paint workshop could begin.
As the markets recover from the shock of the pandemic, starting with September, the production demands require us to utilize 100% capacity and produce with intensive over time. We are entering the last 4 months of the year as ready with the support and morale of the successful work that I briefly mentioned above. We are excited for being about to break the record about the capacity utilization rate and test our production system. Our efficiency will be at the highest level. I hope there will be concrete developments regarding the Covid-19 vaccine in the last quarter. There is concern about the spread of the disease in autumn and winter.
I hope that the effective management of the pandemic will be ensured with the right measures and we live a healthy life close to the normal. I wish that the positivity in the markets will continue and especially the economic losses experienced in the second quarter will be recuperated. An important but quite simple task falls to all of us: Wearing our facemasks throughout the pandemic, maintaining our social distance, and taking care of our personal hygiene.
Stay with love, live healthy and always have hope...