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Ford’s Valencia Assembly Plant Uses a Giant Ostrich-Feather-Duster

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Ford Valencia Plant feather duster

Behold, Ford Valencia Assembly Plant’s awesome feather duster

Ford is taking a unique approach to ensure that vehicles produced at its Valencia Assembly Plant in Spain have an absolutely immaculate paintjob. Namely, using a whole bunch of ostrich feathers.

Prior to applying paint, vehicles including the Ford Galaxy, Mondeo, and S-MAX are gently dusted with thousands of ostrich feathers in order to prevent imperfections. This measure is merely one of the innovative quality assurance measures taken to make each and every vehicle produced in Valencia perfect, but it’s far and away the most unique.

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“Removing the tiniest speck of dust before vehicles are painted can significantly enhance a smooth finish. Through their unique construction and durability, ostrich feathers are perfect for picking up and holding tiny particles,” said Dirk Hölzer, chief paint engineer, Ford of Europe.

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The giant feather-duster operates like the buffers in a car-wash, eliminating static electricity and removing particles of dirt and dust that are sucked out through a vacuum. The vehicles are then painted with a unique tri-coat process that applies primer, base, and clear coats without ever having to stop to dry the vehicle in an oven. This not only expedites the manufacturing process, but it also reduces CO2 emissions typical of the paint-application process by as much as 25%.

In all, vehicles produced in Valencia must be perfect through 34 stages of assembly that require around 18,000 different components. Also, with the whole feather duster thing, it’s probably a good thing that cars aren’t ticklish.

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