Ford manufacturers the fifth millionth Super Duty truck
Ford has celebrated the manufacture of its fifth millionth Super Duty truck at its Kentucky based plant this week. The Super Duty truck is part of Ford’s F-Series of vehicles and has been manufactured in Kentucky for 15 years.
The five millionth truck came off the production line on Tuesday 8 October and was a ‘Vermillion Red’ F-250 SRW 4x4 crew cab Lariat model. According to Ford, it is bound for a dealership in North Carolina.
Ford cited IHS Automotive Polk data that says the Super Duty is the number one heavy-duty pickup truck, with a market share of 44 percent in the past year. The company said the truck was a market share leader for metal mining workers, law enforcement agencies and highway maintenance workers.
“Super Duty trucks are engineered to meet the needs of the toughest customers,” Doug Scott, Ford Truck group marketing manager, said in a news release. The Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition also are manufactured at the Kentucky Truck Plant, which last year alone, produced 353,000 vehicles.
Ford is hoping to boost that capacity. In January, it announced an $80 million expansion project with plans for 350 new jobs. The new expansion and new equipment are expected to increase capacity by 15 percent.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.