Ford Motor Company has just launched the world's first mobile aeroacoustic wind tunnel that will allow the automaker to set it up within hours in any Ford assembly plant in North America in order to improve the quietness of their cabins.
This patent-pending wind tunnel can produce up to 129 kph while also improving productivity by reducing test cycles from weeks to hours thereby shortening time spent for a better work-life balance by team members.
Ford technicians and engineers will now be able to identify sources of unwanted wind noise in early production vehicles so that solutions may be developed at the soonest possible time.
"This project was born from a desire to be the best when it comes to controlling and limiting the cabin noise customers are so sensitive to. And our new mobile wind tunnel saves our engineers time and increases productivity. It's a fine example of the innovation mindset we're trying to incorporate into everything we do," said Bill Gulker, Ford wind noise core supervisor.
The new mobile aeroacoustic wind tunnel, which costs a mere fraction of the $50 million building-sized aerodynamics facility in Allen Park, Michigan, will debut at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan before it is rolled out in various other Ford assembly plants in North America.
This will eliminate the need to ship vehicles to and from Allen Park, reducing man-hours and financial resources spent on the old process.
"Now, we're able to detect even the most subtle noises. We can identify an area in need of improvement, have key people gather, communicate quickly, and resolve the issue without delay," added Gulker.