Ford has always promoted creativity and encouraged employees to imagine and develop innovative solutions. Ford has just introduced a mobile wind tunnel made out of shipping containers.“This project was born from a desire to be the best when it comes to controlling and limiting the cabin noise customers are so sensitive to,” Bill Gulker, Ford wind noise core supervisor, said in a statement. “Our new mobile wind tunnel saves our engineer’s time and increases productivity. It’s a fine example of the innovation mindset we’re trying to incorporate into everything we do.” These wind tunnels are vital to grasping the intricate details of aerodynamics. Airflow can affect everything from the fuel economy to cabin noise. Cutting down the cabin noise will enhance the customer’s driving experience and lead to greater customer satisfaction all around.
Creating a wind tunnel allows engineers to analyze every little detail and cuts down the testing cycles from weeks to hours. Despite their incredible usefulness, wind tunnels can be quite large and very expensive. Finding a way to create a mobile wind tunnel made out of shipping containers is both cost effective and very useful in identifying problems early on. The mobility of the containers allows the cars to be yanked from the assembly line and tested on-site.
Ford has hopes that this mobile solution will shorten the amount of time necessary to find the problems and implement fixes. Ford’s main wind tunnel is the size of an office building and costs to build it was $50 million. The mobile wind tunnel is constructed of two 53 foot long shipping containers and can be moved anywhere. Two six-foot-diameter fans powered by 250-horsepower electric motors can generate winds of up to 80 mph. The two containers are held together side by side on a flat area of the pavement. Another 40-foot container houses an office, power distribution, and controls. The whole entire assembly can be easily taken down in a day and then put back together at a whole new site in as little as six hours.
At Container Technology, Inc. our staff has over 75 years combined experience in the storage container industry. For more information about standard ISO containers or general container modifications please give us a call at (877) 670-0229 or fill out an online quote form.