Based on previous experience, plastic too was dismissed because of the expense of so many supports and the need for frequent replacement through cracking. Even rubber hose was considered, but quickly ruled out on the basis of the number of supports required and – despite being in a production environment – its lack of aesthetic appeal.
TRANSAIR, the most practical and rapid system
Ford had previously had experience of Legris’ Transair pipe work system used for compressed air on the transfer machines supplied by Lamb Technicon to its Lion V6 engine machining production line. The rapid-fit system is used as standard by Lamb Technicon as the fastest and most convenient way for the company to run up and test a complete engine production plant at its own premises, then break it down, ship to anywhere in the world and reassemble it at point of use.
Based on that experience, and as part of its policy of “simultaneous engineering”, Ford worked in partnership with Legris’ Transair distributor Airchannel and the main mechanical installation contractors JSMS of Erith, Kent, to develop a system for delivering compressed air to the new line. Just nine months were allowed to remove the previous engine production facilities in the area, completely refurbish that part of the building and install the new diesel production facilities.