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FORD ADVANCED ENGINEERING CENTER (AEC) OPENS

 DEARBORN, Mich., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) opened the doors to the future of automotive technology today at ceremonies dedicating its new Advanced Engineering Center (AEC) here. Featuring sophisticated laser technology, robotics, and high-tech acoustic laboratories -- the AEC is Ford's state-of-the-art commitment to product quality and technology.
 At the $84 million, 285,000-square-foot AEC, Ford engineers apply up-front, detailed and sophisticated product development processes. In the reality of space-age technology, the AEC is where Ford defines products of the future in engineering terms, creating the platforms, structures and suspensions that will form the basis of Ford's vehicles of tomorrow.
 "This facility," said Edward E. Hagenlocker, executive vice president of North American Automotive Operations, in dedicating the AEC, "is a very important and integral part of (Ford's) huge research and engineering campus -- The Henry and Edsel Ford Research and Engineering Center. Addition of the AEC to this campus is yet further testimony of Ford's ongoing commitment to keeping the company on the forefront of engineering and design technology."
 The Advanced Engineering Center is dedicated to three vital functions: Up-front, pre-program engineering work; formation and early staging efforts of co-located teams; and testing and analysis to reduce Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH). In essence, the AEC provides Ford with a comprehensive system that takes products from the embryonic stage through final development and into product refinement.
 The AEC is also the latest addition to the Henry and Edsel Ford Research and Engineering Center. The Research and Engineering Center, a massive 500-acre technical complex opened in Dearborn 40 years ago this week, is the focus of Ford's research, engineering and design efforts and the home to Ford's Design Center, Body Engineering Center, Dynamometer Laboratories, Human Resource Development Center, Dearborn Proving Grounds and a host of other technologically related centers coupled with soon-to-be completed scientific and research facilities.
 "Building the AEC was based on a common goal: Improving customer satisfaction," said Neil W. Ressler, executive director, Ford Vehicle Engineering. "It's at the AEC that we gather customer perceptions of our products -- likes and dislikes -- wants and needs. It's here that we analyze that data in engineering terms and apply it to the entire product development process. Without this comprehensive and exacting advance work, you can't be a major contender in the car and truck business."
 The AEC's facilities and capabilities include a number of major innovations, including:
 -- The largest U.S. automotive NVH facility under one roof;
 -- The first U.S. all-wheel-drive acoustic chassis chamber;
 -- The first U.S. all-wheel-drive acoustic powertrain chamber;
 -- The first U.S. temperature-controlled acoustic chassis chamber;
 -- The first U.S. 3-D robotic NVH acoustic measurement system;
 -- Comprehensive laser holography and sheet laser laboratories/chambers;
 -- The largest NVH computer hardware and software installation in the United States to support data acquisition and other computer simulation work.
 "These capabilities," said Ressler, "are all geared toward one goal: Improvement. The idea is simple in approach, although complex in practice. It's a goal that requires the most exacting skills and tools. In effect, the AEC is our toolbox with a focus on up-front engineering and product development. It's a toolbox that we can use at any point in the product development process to improve customer satisfaction -- which, after all, is our overall mission."
 -0- 6/14/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Miller of Ford, 313-845-5745/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE004 -- 1505 06/14/93 10:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 14, 1993
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