Flying Start for Seat Supplier
World-renowned automotive supplier Air International is set to push the button on an exciting new enterprise inside Ford Australia’s Campbellfield vehicle assembly complex.
The 40,000 square metre production facility will house 130 new employees, producing a range of seats and other components for the new Ford Falcon set to go to market later this year.
“The addition of Air International marks a generational change in the way Ford goes about the business of producing Australia’s finest cars,” President Geoff Polites says.
For some years Ford has utilised 'Just In Time' manufacturing principles, in which parts and other supplies for its production line are manufactured and delivered as close as possible to the time at which they are actually needed. This system eliminates the need for massive storage space and double handling of materials.
"Having Air International here is another step in this evolution, with in-line sequenced delivery of parts and components. Rather than waiting for parts to be transported from locations across the country, we can transfer Air International components directly to the production line as they are needed," Mr Polites said.
Air International employees will be fed an electronic message via computer the instant a new Barra Falcon starts down the assembly line.
That information will include the model specification and the seats required for that car. Batches of seats will be transported between the two factories every 24 minutes, delivered to a receiving bay on the east wall. From there they will travel along a conveyor system to the point where they are assembled into the car.
“Having the Air International team on site will ensure maximum productivity with a huge reduction in waiting times, a lowering of transport costs and help with our drive toward maximum efficiency."
Mr Polites said the Air International decision to move on site continued Ford's move towards total efficiency in its manufacturing operations.
Air International has been supplying steering systems to Ford since 1993, and its history can be traced back more than 30 years to its formation in 1967.
Since then it has grown at an exponential rate to become one of the country’s premier businesses.
Air International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Futuris Corporation, one of the country’s Top 50 enterprises, with market capitalisation in excess of $1 billion and an annual turnover of $5.8 billion last financial year.