As most of you should know, there is a factory of Ford placed in Almussafes, surrounding the factory there are several providers from Ford.
These companies are placed there basically to save costs and time transporting the pieces from one company to another, they used to transport the goods by trucks but they developed a system more efficient, faster and cheaper than trucks and it is called Direct Automated Delivery (DAD).
Through this system the car pieces are transported from the assembly point at the supplier’s plant to the assembly point in the production line at Ford through aerial tunnels. These tunnels are completely closed and automated.
Image 1: Image of one tunnel from the road.
Some of the pieces that are transported through aerial tunnels are the doors, hoods and tail gates.
Pieces are transported by individual conveyors which are controlled by the telecommunications network of the company. Tunnels are 16 meters wide and there is pretty much 1 km of extension.
Image 2: Internal image from one of the tunnels.
This strong connection between Ford and its providers allows to Ford make orders on time, they are able to ask for pieces every several hours, therefore, they don’t need to store big quantities of pieces.
Image 3: Map of the industrial area where Ford and its providers are placed, tunnels are represented by green lines.
Therefore, this system reduces the cost (transport, storage, packaging costs and so on), also brings more agility for the quality problems of the pieces and the relationship between Ford and its providers is more fluent.
Joaquín Sánchez Planelles