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The Dirt On Ford's New 3D Dirt Detection Technology: There Isn't Any

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Industry-first dirt detection technology uses high-resolution cameras to generate a 3D model so Ford can identify and eliminate dirt particles smaller than a grain of salt on vehicle paint surfaces
  • Ford data show new automated vision system led to an 82 percent improvement in combined paint quality and customer satisfaction metrics for surface finish within one year
  • Digital imaging system analyzes more than 3,000 images in 15 seconds to identify dirt particles. Previously, paint inspections were based solely on the human eye
  • This year, the dirt detection technology launches at three more Ford assembly plants in North America, followed by two additional assembly plants in 2014

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130822/DE67960 )

Here's the dirt on Ford's new paint technology: There isn't any.

New Ford F-Series models are the latest vehicles to benefit from the company's industry-first dirt detection technology to ensure optimal paint and surface quality. The system uses high-resolution cameras and reflected light to digitally identify surface imperfections finer than a grain of salt in final vehicle assembly, and to cue operators where to polish and buff out imperfections.   

By using dirt detection technology, Ford improved paint quality and reduced customer complaints of vehicle surface finish by 82 percent within one year, as measured by customer warranty data for F-Series models produced at the company's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich.  

"This system ensures better paint jobs and surface finishes for Ford customers around the world," said Tom Dougan, project manager, global paint applications at Ford.

How it works

Ford's dirt detection technology takes microscopic scans of each painted vehicle surface, and then cues final assembly operators to address repairs where necessary. In the past, paint and surface inspections were based on human-eye examination.

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