BAHIA, BRAZIL, Dec. 10 -- Dow Automotive has built a 12,000-sq-m injection molding and
window encapsulation plant employing 200 at Ford Motor Co.'s newest
manufacturing complex here.
Molding more than 20 polypropylene components for the Ford Fiesta - including front and
rear fascias, instrument panel components, and interior/exterior trim - the Dow plant
represents the first time it has operated "an independent manufacturing facility" to
supply a customer with plastic parts, according to the company. The Dow building is
immediately adjacent to the Ford complex, which is called the "Amazon project" by the
"This facility provides a great opportunity to showcase future innovative products and
materials in an exciting and growing market," says Larry Denton, Dow Automotive
president. Dow has put in place resources at its facility for ongoing technical
development, R&D, manufacturing, and production support, the company says.
The on-site Dow Automotive plant contains 12 injection olding machines ranging from 300
to 2300 metric tons, welding and assembly equipment, and what it says is a fully
automated fascia painting line. The plant utilizes the company's Betaseal polyurethane
glass bonding system for encapsulation of the windshield and rear windows of the Fiesta
in a robotic, primerless process. In addition, the Dow plant injection molds two large
IP parts - a retainer and a reinforcing air duct - for delivery to Visteon Corp., which
operates an assembly and finishing facility within the main Ford plant.
Currently, the Dow operation utilizes four of its base PP resins, along with a
thermoplastic olefin product for the front and rear fascia, with color concentrates
used for color matching. Resins supplied by other producers have also been qualified
for use in the Fiesta.
Bob Rogowski, Dow Automotive's director of integrated sites, a newly-created position,
says his company's new facility offers unique quality and performance benefits for
Ford. The fact that one manufacturing facility is responsible for part design,
material supply, and molding provides the capability to ensure that components are
consistent in terms of exacting requirements such as color match, dimensional
stability, and surface finish, he claims.