Ford Puts Engine Plant on a Fresh Footing with Flowcrete Products
ROMEO, MI — The Ford Motor Co. selected high-performance flooring solutions from Flowcrete Americas when it undertook a comprehensive renovation of its large-scale Romeo Engine Plant in Romeo, Michigan.
The facility has been a critical part of Ford’s industrial muscle since the early 70s, and it has recently embarked on a $150 million program of upgrades to enhance its capacity and prepare the plant for the future.
As part of this process, the iconic plant required a new floor that would meet the site’s high standards, and that would continue to do so in the face of the complex, demanding and intensive operational activity.
The Romeo Engine Plant’s commitment to high standards is exemplified by the fact that it has achieved awards and accreditations for quality, environmental efficiency and manufacturing excellence. The scale of the 2.2 million square-foot operation is illustrated by the that fact that a workforce of over 1,000 employees work on two production lines, with one 4,000-foot line producing 140 engines an hour.
To create a floor area that would be up to the task at hand, Flowcrete Americas provided a turnkey flooring service that included the delivery and application of 200,000 square feet of its specialist flooring solutions.
The chemical-resistant epoxy floor coating system Flowcoat OP was applied across a wide, 160,000-square-foot area of flooring in the main production zone. Flowcoat OP is ideal for large expanses of flooring within manufacturing facilities, as its durable nature will withstand impacts, substances, traffic, temperatures and deteriorating factors. Additionally, the seamless and impervious properties of this system facilitate a quick and effective cleaning regime.
For the spaces faced with more challenging demands, contractors installed 40,000 square feet of the highly durable epoxy floor mortar Flowtex. This system has enhanced abrasion, wear, scratch and chemical resistance, making it suitable for even the most heavy-duty processing environments.
Flowcrete Americas’ resin flooring solutions allowed Ford to create a colorful floor area, with important safety and navigational signage incorporated into the finish. An attractive light grey was chosen for the main floor, with a darker shade used to designate forklift truck and pedestrian routes around the site. Yellow and red line-markings were added to clearly mark specific spaces and to highlight key hazards around the site.
Using this specification, a floor fit for the modern automotive industry was successfully created within the project’s 12-week schedule. During the application, Flowcrete Americas and its approved contractor partner had to ensure compliance with the new Occupational Health and Safety Administration standard on crystalline silica dust, which affected multiple parts of the process. This important health and safety criteria was properly adhered to throughout the project.
Once laid down, the floor’s slip resistance was tested to make sure that it would provide a safe platform for the site’s many employees. Testing was undertaken every 5,000 square feet to check that the coefficient of friction stayed within the acceptable parameters. Core samples were also taken every 25,000 square feet to confirm that the floor’s thickness and strength met the required levels.