A Look Back In Ford History—jan. 24
In January, 1967, Ford Motor Company unveiled a breakthrough numerical control system to improve its product quality, tooling accuracy and production flexibility.
A major improvement involves the costly, time-consuming aspects of tooling needed for new model change-over—especially by automating much of the precise, complex and extensive manual work to create the new dies, wood models and templates.
Ford’s proprietary numerical control process used state-of the-art computers and television to translate car body panels into numbers. The numbers were then fed by tape into drafting machines, cutting tools and milling machines to guide and shape large blocks of steel into precise dies and templates used to cut and stamp body panels.
In remarks to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in Cincinnati, Ford numerical control director George Pascoe told how mirror-axis switches enabled a single tape-guide and machine to cut right- or left-hand doors, fenders or panels by flipping a switch.
Many parts on 1967 and 1968 Fords were made with the numerical control system, which was first used, Pascoe said, to build parts for the 1963 Ford and the 1964½ Mustang.
Numerically controlled drilling and milling machines have also been used to craft parts for Ford prototypes and special engines—including the Ford racing engines that powered Jim Clark to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500.