Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford is putting 8,000 of its workers through an intensive training program to support production of the 2015 F-150 full-size pickup at its Kansas City Assembly Plant. The new training program was prompted by the switch from steel-bodied F-150 construction to the new aluminum alloy body, according to the automaker. 

The program consists of more than 400 hours of in-class and hands-on courses, and covers topics from installing and configuring new equipment for the production line to constructing the truck’s advanced electrical control system, according to Ford.

The training for Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Plant workers started in May 2013. One unique aspect to the program is the “train-the-trainer” side where Ford employees learn and teach their own coworkers.

“Through this program, we have armed both our skilled trades and production workers with the skills necessary to produce the next generation of vehicle technology,” said Aris Janitens, Ford Launch Planning and Work Force Readiness manager. “Our workers now are able to deal with the latest in automotive manufacturing technology and, as a result, keep production on schedule to deliver best-in-class, quality trucks to our customers.”

Dearborn’s renovation was its largest manufacturing transformation in decades, according to the automaker, with Ford installing new press lines, new hydroforming lines, a new chemical and heat-treat area, a closed-top aluminum recycling system, and other technology.

Production of the all-new F-150 will start in Kansas City by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

The company says with both plants up and running Ford will have the capacity to produce more than 700,000 F-150 pickups per year for availability of in 90 markets globally.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet