Saturday, 2 June 2012


While children are told not to slam doors, Ford engineers working on the all-new Transit Custom had other ideas. 

They slammed the doors of Ford’s new Transit van more than 550,000 times to make sure than it can withstand the day-to-day usage of some of the most demanding customers over the course of many years.  

Ford slammed the Transit Custom front doors 250,000 times, the sliding side door 150,000 times, and the rear cargo door 150,000 times in a special test facility where temperatures can be plunged to -40 degrees Celsius, sent soaring to 82 degrees Celsius, and deliver 85 per cent humidity.

“This is a modern-day torture test, more than half-a-million slams, in everything from tropical heat to Arctic cold,” said Barry Gale, Ford’s chief commercial vehicle engineer, based at Dunton Technical Centre, in Essex – Ford’s research and development centre for all its vans.

The all-new Ford Transit Custom one-tonne commercial vehicle will go on sale in the UK later this year and made its debut at April’s CV Show in Birmingham.  The Transit will be available with advanced technology including Ford SYNC, which enables hands-free voice-controlled use of mobile phones and MP3 players, plus fuel-saving technologies such as Auto-Start-Stop and smart regenerative charging.

The 550,000 door-slam test is just one of a range of rigorous testing procedures Ford has used to make sure the all-new vehicle further enhances Transit’s reputation for superb reliability.

The 250,000 front door slams compare to 84,000 slams delivered by the equivalent car test. This reflects the greater frequency of door-use and tougher treatment of working vans.

Ford records and analyses real-life slams so the test machinery replicates real-life customer behaviour. This includes observing and recording the speed and the degree of force used to slam a door, including both regular and severe slams. The test replicates the fastest speeds used by 90 per cent of customers.

Testing takes place within a purpose-designed automated rig at Ford’s development centre, with engineers monitoring the precision testing and checking the doors regularly for any sign of damage or weakness.

“After our new vans have been through this, they are ready for anything,” said Barry Gale. 

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