Ford’s New 3D Dirt Detection Technology image

Industry-first dirt detection technology uses high-resolution cameras to generate a 3D model, which helps in the identification and elimination process of dirt particles smaller than a grain of salt on vehicle paint surfaces.

New Ford F-Series models are the latest vehicles to benefit from the company’s industry-first dirt detection technology to ensure optimal paint and surface quality. The system uses high-resolution cameras and reflected light to digitally identify surface imperfections finer than a grain of salt in final vehicle assembly, and to cue operators where to polish and buff out imperfections.

Using the new technology, the company says it improved paint quality and reduced customer complaints of vehicle surface finish by 82% within one year.

“This system ensures better paint jobs and surface finishes for Ford customers around the world,” said Tom Dougan, project manager, global paint applications at Ford. “It is one of the most exciting integrations of optical science and digital technology in the automotive industry,” said Dougan. “By combining innovations in vision technology, processing speed and software, Ford continues to invent new technologies that give our customers better paint quality and surpass competitor offerings.”

Globally, dirt detection technology is used at three Ford assembly plants: Valencia Assembly Plant, Spain: C-Max (Grand C-Max and compact models); Dearborn Truck Plant (F-Series) and Kentucky Truck Plant (Expedition, Super Duty). The technology launches later this year at three more plants: Louisville Assembly Plant (Escape); Chicago Assembly Plant (Taurus, Police Interceptor, Explorer) and Oakville Assembly (Edge, Flex).
In 2014, Ford will launch dirt detection technology at two additional assembly venues: Flat Rock Assembly Plant (Mustang, Fusion) and Kansas City Assembly Plant (F-Series).