Electro-Matic Products

Electro-Matic Works with Ford on new Electric Lightning Pickup Truck

Posted by Electro-Matic on Nov 15, 2021

Ford is almost done building out a brand-new, state-of-the-art plant packed with new technology and using the latest next-gen AVS automatic vehicle scheduling system to assemble the electric F-150 Lightning, coming in spring 2022. With the final assembly for the lightning pickup in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford is using Siemens technology and automation for production. Electro-Matic has provided them with PLCs, wireless communication, power control equipment, broadcast displays, AGVs, as well as our full-color LED displays from Electro-Matic Visual.


One of the new technologies being utilized by Ford is the HMI broadcast displays that show the build information for each station. The idea is, as things move into production and operators assemble vehicles, the instructions that are unique to their station will come up on their station’s computer.

To avoid the mistake of someone reading a different area of the build sheet, each station has a computer that knows what configuration of the truck is up next and tells the worker what they need to do. The vehicle won’t move down the line until the right bolts are fastened and other tasks are completed. These screens will also notify workers of any changes to production or other updates.

A recurring issue that presents itself in assembly plants is the changes made at stations by people unauthorized via passwords that have been passed around. To stay away from avoidable mishaps, the bottom of the HMI broadcast displays is a box with an RFID reader that allows authorized personnel to scan their badge and make changes accordingly. It also helps keep track of who exactly is making changes, and where.


People have been wanting more flexibility in the way material is being transported around their assembly plants over the past few years. As opposed to fixed conveyance, AGVs are run off of a ground station, giving it the ability to go anywhere—not just a straight line.

In a conventional plant, the entire assembly line is connected and moves at the same speed. However, these sleds can move at different speeds. Using our wireless communication and Siemens automation, when a quality problem is found, AGVs are able to be programmed to repair the loop so you don't have to bypass it in a line of other vehicles. The AGVs follow a magnetic track glued into the floor and can sense when a person crosses in front of them.

The collaboration of the HMI broadcast displays and the AGVs create a combination of vehicle scheduling and error-proofing systems all on one. The next-gen AVS system creates an environment where workers know what the AGV is delivering, and what that next vehicle is going to get, allowing them to prepare and stage the parts for it.

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