Ford’s new parts distribution center | Rare Techy


Ford invited the collision repair media to its new state-of-the-art parts distribution center in Mickleham, Victoria.

Warehouse manager John Powell walked us through how parts were picked and stored, how workers were kept safe, and the processes that have evolved over time. Interestingly, the new facility employs more people than its predecessor. Humans seem to be cheaper and more reliable than robots in this environment. Apparently, the robots required a lot of maintenance and were obviously not easy to replace if they failed. Maintenance had to be done on weekends when parts were not picked up, which also added to the cost.

All aspects of health and safety have been identified and processes have been adjusted accordingly. Forklift operators are attached to the trucks and complex safety protocols are in place to ensure safe navigation in narrow aisles.

The warehouse itself is almost 50,000 m2 in size and is located on a site of 88,000 m2. Why does it need so much storage, given that there is no more production here? This is because the company has committed to keeping spare parts for each model for 10 years, and people still buy a lot of foreign-made Ford models that need parts support.


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