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The Making of the Powerful Heart of Foton Truck

As an engine is the heart of a vehicle, and all Foton trucks are powered by BFCEC’s products, the visit has enhanced the confidence of ATM’s customers.

Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant Visit 

Last year, together with Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd (ATM)’s customers and dealers, ‘Truck & Bus News’ embarked on a journey of discovery on how Foton trucks were made. After the visit to the Ollin Plant in Zhucheng and Shandong Super Truck Plant, next on the schedule was the Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant.

Opening up its production door widely to the Malaysian delegates that consisted of Foton dealers, end-users and media, Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company Limited (BFCEC) must have had great confidence in its advanced diesel engine production base, as the engine is the heart of a vehicle. 

Established in 2008, BFCEC is a 50/50 joint venture between Cummins Incorporation and China’s Beiqi Foton Motor Company. Since the first engine was produced in 2009, the accumulative volume of the new generation Cummins light-duty high performance ISF diesel engine series has reached 1 million units in 2018. Developed to produce high performance with low weight, with a power range from 109 to 170hp, the ISF2.8 and ISF3.8 are well suited for light commercial applications such as trucks, vans and utility vehicles, as well as small construction equipment and industrial applications. 

With a total investment of more than RMB 4.9 billion, an annual capacity of 520,000 units, today’s BFCEC is the production base for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines. Main models that are produced here include the Cummins ISF/QSF (road/off-road) light-duty series of 2.8 litres and 3.8 litres, ISF and the ISG medium-duty series of 4.0 litres and 4.5 litres, as well as Cummins heavy-duty engine technology including the ISG11, ISG 12, ISG13 series and the ISG12N natural gas engine. 40 per cent of BFCEC’s products are exported to other countries. 

Before entering the plant, we were required to put on safety helmets, eye protecting glasses, high visibility vests and a plant tour headset. In our perception, factory environments are associated with noise – rumbling machines, whirring drills, and workers all over the production floor. But the moment we stepped into the plant, quietness, cleanliness, neatness and systematic organisation were the impressions. It was also not so labour intensive as we thought.  

World-Class Digitalised Plant 

According to the plant tour guide, with a U-Shape manufacturing cell, the workers finish their work in the same location they began, eliminating the waste of walking from the end of the line back to the start. This explains why there was less movement of workers in the plant. Currently, he said, in every 8-9 hours, a ISF2.8L engine is built while a 3.8L engine rolls off the production line every 11 hours.   

BFCEC, he continued, is a high-efficiency modern, world-class digitalised plant. It deploys customer-oriented COS management philosophy and Cummins leading NG Manufacturing Execution Systems to manage its manufacturing operation across machining, engine assembly and component technologies, to ensure the consistency and accuracy of the manufacturing process and reliability. 

He also pointed out that the plant is well-equipped with advanced MAG Computer Numerical Control (CNCs) from USA, Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) from Germany, ABB Robotics from Switzerland, Atlas Torqueing Equipment from Sweden, and ALV Test Cells from Australia. 

With advanced machinery and assembly technology, we noticed that the key workstations are equipped with highly automated production lines, which not only means less manpower but also less variability than human workers, resulting in greater control and consistency of product quality. 

Six Sigma Product Quality Improvement 

In addition, the BFCEC manufacturing quality system strictly abides by the Cummins global quality standard. Besides adopting globally leading design and manufacturing technologies from Cummins, the plant also follows Cummins in its application of Six Sigma. The company uses this tool to improve the quality of products, their efficiency and lower their costs. Details of the Six Sigma work process are clearly stated on the factory wall. 

Six Sigma, according to our tour guide, uses data-based analysis to identify defects and variation in a wide range of manufacturing and business situations, which help to ensure quality and forge deeper relationships with customers and suppliers. 

BFCEC has already obtained TS16949, OHSAS18001, ISO14000 and ISO50001 certification,” he added proudly. 

In 2019, BFCEC launched ISF 4.5 and ISG12 engines that met the National VI emission standard. These products, which took the lead in meeting emission standards, boasted improvements in meeting China’s emission standards, horsepower and torque performance, as well as fuel economy, are the result of the company’s close collaboration with Cummins in the USA, United Kingdom and Brazil on Research and Development (R&D).   

As compared to other diesel engines, the company said ISG12 has reduced by about 40 per cent of the number of parts, which has helped to reduce overall weight. It is also more reliable with the new MFS integrated high efficiency turbocharger. 

Meanwhile, the ISF4.5L engine integrates Cummins ‘century-old diesel technology. It is based on Cummins‘ worldwide popular, mature and successful B-series platform. ISF4.5 integrates Cummins‘ advanced research and development resources in the United States, Britain, and China. Its Euro 6 products have been successfully equipped with British Pekkadav light trucks and European-branded medium-sized buses. 

The company claimed that it surpasses the traditional four-cylinder engine in terms of power, reliability, and efficiency and savings, and is comparable to the low-horsepower six-cylinder engine. With a weight of only 330kg, the ISF4.5 features a compact structure, a modular and lightweight design, with a 40 percent reduction in the number of parts. Produced up to 210 horsepower, it is ahead of the four-cylinder engine of the same level. 

The opportunity to look behind the scene on how the engines were produced gave us an inside-out understanding of what really happens inside the plant, setting it apart from others. The sophisticated technology, precision machinery, advanced system and good practice all come together to build engines with the highest standards. 

With more than 400 components in an engine, our guide stressed that although quality is built at each station, there are several check points to ensure that the engine is absolutely right. Each engine is verified before it leaves the plant. As an engine is the heart of a vehicle, and all Foton trucks are powered by BFCEC’s products, the visit certainly enhanced the confidence of ATM’s customers and dealers to a great extent. 

There have been interactions between BFCEC and ATM, for instance ATM participated in the BFCEC Club Strategic Partner Summit in 2019, and BFCEC also send engineers to ATM for technical exchange.

 

参观北京福田康明斯发动机制造厂

福田卡车强大“心脏”来源

 

去年,《卡客车新闻》与Angka-Tan汽车私人有限公司(ATM)的客户和代理商一起踏上了发现之旅,探索福田卡车的制造过程。继参观诸城奥铃工厂后,下一个行程就是参观北京福田康明斯发动机工厂。 

北京福田康明斯发动机有限公司大方地打开大门,迎接由代理、终端客户及媒体组成的马来西亚代表团参观, 显示了该公司对其先进的柴油发动机的生产基地充满信心,因为发动机就是一部车子的“心脏”。 

成立于2008年,北京福田康明斯发动机有限公司是康明斯公司与中国商用车企业北汽福田汽车股份有限公司以50:50比例合资组建的企业。自2009年生产第一台发动机开始直到2018年,新一代的康明斯ISF系列轻型柴油发动机的产量已经累计到1百万台。ISF系列2.8升 和F3.8升轻型发动机重量低,性能高,功率范围覆盖109至170 马力,适合轻型商用车如卡车、货车、多功能车、工程装备及工业应用。 

总投资 逾49亿人民币,年产能可达52万台,今天该工厂是轻型、中型及重型柴油发动机生产基地。主要产品包括康明斯ISF/QSF 系列(公路/越野)2.8升和3.8升轻型发动机、ISG 系列4.0升和4.5升中型发动机、康明斯重型发动机技术包括ISG系列 11升、12升及13升发动机,以及12N天然气版发动机。该厂40%的产品出口到其他的国家。  

在步入工厂前,我们被要求披上荧光背心,戴上安全帽、护目镜及耳机。我们印象中的工厂是吵杂的――隆隆作响的机器、钻孔声、工人满布的生产车间。但当我们踏入该工厂,它给我们的印象却相当安静、整洁,一切都井然有序,也并没有我们想象中的劳工密集。 

世界级的数字工厂 

据工厂导游表示,该厂采用U形制造单元布局,工厂员工在同一地点完成开始的工作,节省从生产线终点回到起点来完成工作的时间。 这也是为什么我们很少在厂里看到员工不停走动的身影。他说,目前每8-9小时就能组装好一台2.8升的发动机,而一台3.8升的发动机则需要11个小时才能下线。 

他续说,北京福田康明斯是一家世界级的现代化高效数字工厂。它采用以客户为导向的COS管理系统概念和康明斯先进的NG制造执行系统来管理其生产操作,包括机器、发动机组装及零部件科技,确保制造程序的一致性和可靠性。 

该工厂设备完善,他指出,备有先进,来自美国的MAG电脑数控(CNCs)、德国的Zeiss坐标测量机(CMMs)、瑞士的ABB 机械人、瑞典的Atlas 扭力设备及澳大利亚的ALV 测试单元。

采用先进的机械和组装技术,我们发现主要的工作站都拥有自动化生产线,这不仅减少人力,也意味着拥有比员工更低的变异性,带来更好的产品品质控制和一致性。 

六西格玛产品质量改善 

此外,北京福田康明斯的制造品质系统严格遵循康明斯的全球品质标准。除了采用康明斯领先的设计和制造技术,该厂也遵循康明斯使用的六西格玛。它采用这项工具来改善产品的品质,效率及降低他们的成本。工厂的墙壁上还贴有六西格玛的详细工作流程。 

据工厂导游表示,六西格玛采用数字化分析来辨别广泛的制造和业务状况瑕疵和变异性,协助确保品质,并与客户,还有供应商建立起深厚的关系。 

“福田康明斯已荣获TS16949、 OHSAS18001、 ISO14000 及ISO50001 认证。”他自豪地补充。 

2019年,该厂发布了符合中国国六排放标准的ISF 系列4.5 升和ISG 系列12升发动机。福田康明斯集结了美国、英国及巴西等国的技术研发力量,使全系发动机达成了排量升级、马力升级、扭矩升级、燃油经济性升级等四项成绩,率先通过了国六排放标准。 

该公司表示,其ISG 系列12升发动机的零件与其他同类的柴油发动机相比,减少了40%,协助降低整体重量。它还采用更为可靠的MFS集成高效涡轮增压器。 

与此同时,康明斯ISF4.5升发动机采用康明斯百年柴油技术,基于康明斯在全球受欢迎,成熟和成功的B系列平台。ISF4.5升发动机集合了康明斯美国、英国、中国先进研发资源精雕细磨,ISF4.5欧六产品已成功配装英国佩卡达夫轻卡,拥有极佳的市场和用户口碑。 

该公司宣称ISF4.5在动力性、可靠性、高效节省方面全面超越传统四缸机、媲美低马力段六杠机的一款划时代产品。重量只有330公斤,结构紧凑,零件减少了40%。最高功率可达210马力,超越同级的四缸发动机。  

能有机会一睹发动机的制造过程,有助于我们对该公司由内至外的了解,让我们意会到是该工厂内部的种种,使它有别于其他制造商。最高标准发动机的诞生来自于精密的技术、准确的机械、先进的系统及良好做法的结合。 

一台发动机拥有超过400个零件,我们的导游强调虽然该厂在每一站生产过程中都注重品质,但仍设下好几个检查点确保发动机完全没有问题。每一台发动机在出厂前,也都经过验证。发动机是车辆的“心脏”,而所有福田卡车都搭载福田康明斯的产品,此次的参观确实大大提高了Angka-Tan汽车客户和代理的信心。 

福田康明斯与Angka-Tan汽车之间早有互动,比如2019年,Angka-Tan汽车参与福田康明斯俱乐部战略伙伴峰会,而福田康明斯也曾派其工程师来马进行技术交流。

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