Posts Tagged With: dearborn

RV Trip Favorite Photos #356-366

Jim says:

While Mary and I are taking care of business here at her home…there is little “new stuff” to Blog about daily. So I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite photos from our recent 298 day, 16,000+ mile RV trip around the United States.

Since scenery and people snapshot-type photos require little special photography skills…and being limited by the abilities of my digital camera…I none the less took some photos that I really liked. They are presented in no special order of favoritism. If you desire to see more associated photos and information about this area, you will need to find this date in the archive files of this Blog.

Today’s photos were taken at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan on August 22, 2010……

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In other news…
34 degrees, rain/snow showers. Departure date for Jim is November 29, 2010.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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FORD FACTORY TOUR, ROUGE PLANT

We toured the Rouge Ford Complex yesterday, which at one time was the biggest,  most competitive, efficient, successful, industrial complex in the world. Henry Ford’s innovation was a beacon to other industries and this was the stellar example with 100,000 employees in 1934. An amazing place then, and an amazing place, now.

Henry Ford worked for Edison eight years and quit him in 1889. As we all know, Edison was a big thinker and innovator who inspired others. They remained lifelong friends. Ford tinkered with his Tin Lizzie and was ready to open shop. The first Ford Automobile Company failed. He tryed again and failed again. Then, in 1903, he finally got The Ford Motor Company off the ground. Famous for his assembly line technique, he learned from watching others, how a butcher would hang his beef and wheel it around to make cuts on it. How a watch maker would make two gears for a precision clock to have a spare gear for repair when it wore out. How cotton mills passed bags of fibers from one worker to the other at mill.
He built and sold cars but he wanted them to be affordable for everyone, rather than the automobile becoming a plaything for the rich. At that time, it took 12 hours to build a car.  He didn’t want to depend on some company that was behind on his parts, or couldn’t deliver while he had men waiting. He wanted to control the building of his cars from start to finish.
He bought 2000 acres of cheap marshland and had his Rouge Plant built right on the Rouge River where raw materials could be delivered by barge.  It was the first plant to make a car from raw materials to finish all in the same plant.
Eventually he got the building of a car down from 12 hours to 93 minutes with his famous innovations in the assembly line and by continually looking for new ways to cut costs.

For instance, he posed to his engineers that he would like to have an engine made from a single block of metal. He was told it would be impossible. His reply, you can find a job elsewhere, I want somebody who will do it. And, they did. He did some other amazing things. In 1914, he doubled wages and 10,000 people came to the plant looking for work. He wanted the men he had working for him to be able to afford his cars.

As a result, in 1927 when he came out with the Model A, huge crowds came out to see it at dealerships all over the country.

Portions of the old Rouge Plant are visible as above. Parts have been rebuilt. Rouge was the factory of the future and made Ford rich and helped build America as an industrial giant.

The new Rouge Assembly Plant, with its  robotic assembly line, would surely make its founder proud today. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed inside. But even the outside is the “new” plant of the future. Vines help cool the building. The roof is a “green” roof.  Covered with an inch of sedum which requires no watering. It survives on rain water. No mowing. Just fertilizer once a year. It cut down the amount of rainwater runoff by 60 percent and saved 45 million dollars in water treatment costs. It reduces by 10 percent the amount of air conditioning needed in summer and heat needed in winter. Plus sky lights have cut the cost of lighting.

This bank of solar panels also reduces cost of electricity, but it is the inside of the plant, the assembly process, that blows the mind. It is fascinating to watch the workers put together pick-up trucks so efficiently you can hardly believe the sheer genius of this robotic assembly line. Every move a worker makes has to be comfortable. No carpal tunnel. Every arm twist or difficult move is done by the assistance of robotic arms that move with the body and turn like toys in your hand. No heavy lifting. All heavy parts are moved by a robotic lifter and simply guided into place. Most of the finish pieces, liners, locks panels are snap on, then screwed in place, making assembly easy.  If a worker is short, the car body lowers to his height at his station on inflatable “skillets”.  Its clean, color coded, bar coded truly the plant of the future. We gawked for three hours. I only wish we could have taken pictures of this huge network of bright yellow Free on Move Systems Machinery that fills the whole building in a ballet of efficient synchronization over three floors.
Jim’s friend, Art Lambart, worked at Ford for 25 years after he left the nuclear plant business. He and Sue attended with us and we gave it 8 thumbs up. Don’t miss this tour.

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Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Dearborn, Michigan

Jim says:

Yesterday Art and Sue and Mary and I went back to the Henry ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. There we boarded a Ford-provided bus for a 15 minute ride to the Ford Rouge Factory where they have been building Ford vehicles since 1917. Today they build their most popular truck, the F150 series, there.

First was a 20 minute film about the history of Ford. Then a 20 minute film about the factory. This film is presented in a 360 degree format with 360 degree sound including floor-jarring effects. No photographs were allowed in the theater or in the factory.

Then to an observation deck where you could kinda-sorta see across the wide expanse of this huge facility. Photographs were allowed here.

Then into the actual assembly area where we walked a 1/3 mile observation walkway overlooking the assembly activities. There is found an amazing array of moving platforms where they turn out a new truck about once minute. About one thousand employees per shift assemble the thousands of components that go into the making of a truck of today. No photographs allowed in here.

Finally to a showcase area where they present the 70 year history of the Ford Rouge Factory including five of the most popular models. The plant is located on the shores of the Rouge River…on one shore is Dearborn and on the other the City of Detroit. My friend Art and his father Walter work for the Ford Motor Company for many years. We spent a total of three hours at the facility. Another most interesting day in the life of a full-time RVer.

Here are five photos taken during the day…

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To see the other 35 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/FordRougeFactoryTour082310#

Here’s the official Ford Rouge Factory Tour website link…
http://www.thehenryford.org/rouge/index.aspx

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about the Ford Rouge River Complex…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_River_Rouge_Complex

Today Mary and I will move on the Elkhart, Indiana about 150 miles distant.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michugan

Jim says:

I’ve been in a lot of museums in my many years on the road, but nothing quite like the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan.

Yesterday Art and Sue and Mary and I walked, walked and walked some more in this 12 acre museum…all under one roof. We didn’t come close to seeing everything, among which includes such things as:

# A model of the nuclear-powered Ford Nucleon automobile.
# An Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
# The 1961 Lincoln Continental, SS-100-X, that President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated.
# The rocking chair from Ford’s Theatre in which President Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot.
# George Washington’s camp bed.
# A ten-person safety bicycle made in 1896
# A collection[5] of several fine 17th and 18th century violins including a Stradivarius.
# Thomas Edison’s alleged last breath in a sealed tube.
# Buckminster Fuller’s prototype Dymaxion house.
# The bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.[6]
# Igor Sikorsky’s prototype helicopter.
# Fokker Trimotor airplane that flew the first flight over the North Pole.
# Bill Elliott’s record-breaking race car clocking in at over 212 MPH at Talledega in 1987.
# The Newcomen type engine from Cobb’s Engine House in England[7].

We also did not go into the adjacent 240 acre Greenfield Village portion of the museum. To read about this unique place…see the two links provided below. In the meantime here are some photos that I took…

An old 18 foot Airstream Travel Trailer…

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The last of the three RV’s used by Charles Kuralt during his 25+ year On The Road TV Show…

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A 1950’s trailer similar to one my family lived in back then…

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An early RV…

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Road were pretty rough back then…

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Not many stopping places…

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Here Mary takes for a spin in a 1917 Ford Touring Car that still runs!…

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Some of the exhibits are huge. Can you see Mary on the upper level of this power plant?

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If one were to see and fully appreciate everything every. they would need many visits. All in all another most enjoyable day!

Here’s the official Henry Ford Museum website link…
http://www.hfmgv.org/

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Henry_Ford

To see the other 90 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/HenryFordMuseum082210#

Today we do the Ford Rouge Factory Tour where Ford has been building cars since the Model A.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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