* Ford’s Sharonville Transmission Plant outside of Cincinnati, which makes transmission components for every Ford, Lincoln and Mercury product sold in North America, is building the new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® transmission for the 2011 Ford Super Duty
* Ford invested about $320 million and added about 100 new jobs at its Sharonville facility to support the launch of the all-new 6R140 transmission
* This new TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission has been specifically designed and engineered to manage the power flow of the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 turbocharged diesel engine and the all-new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine for the new Super Duty; each powertrain delivers significantly improved torque and horsepower along with class-leading fuel economy
Just as the 2011 Ford Super Duty can tackle any job, Ford Motor Company’s Sharonville (Ohio) Transmission Plant can build practically any transmission. So it’s only natural that the new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission, specifically engineered for the new Super Duty diesel and gasoline engines, is built there.
Ford made a $320 million investment in the facility in preparation for its launch of the 6R140. This includes manufacturing site investment as well as engineering and launch support for the all-new transmission. The investment was supported by Ford’s state and local government partners through tax credits and training funds. In total, nearly 100 jobs also were added at the plant as a result of the new 6R140 going into production.
“Our experienced and skilled work force is proud to build the new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® six-speed transmission,” said Tom Thieman, Sharonville plant manager. “Given the quality awards our team has received for the previous Super Duty transmission, we are building on a solid foundation to produce the 6R140 to the highest quality standards, with a laser focus on customer satisfaction.”
The new TorqShift® transmission combines proven architectures with Ford-patented control methods to smoothly manage the significantly improved torque and horsepower produced by the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine. The same basic transmission is mated to the new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine, which also delivers significantly improved torque and horsepower. In addition, the new 6R140 transmission helps enable class-leading fuel economy in both powertrains.
Highlights of the 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission
* SelectShift Automatic™ functionality, including Progressive Range Select and manual functions. SelectShift provides conventional automatic operation or a manual shift mode that gives the driver complete control over gear selection. The system synchronizes the engine and transmission speeds to allow fast, crisp shifts.
* Progressive Range Select allows customers to reduce the range of available gears while in Drive, allowing the driver to limit use of upper gears when the truck is heavily loaded or while towing on grades. Customers also can pull the shift lever into “M” for full manual mode and select the gear desired.
* Live Drive PTO (Power Take Off) is enabled with Super Duty diesels with the PTO prep option. This segment-exclusive feature allows the transmission to power auxiliary equipment to run devices such as cement mixers, aerial lifts, tow truck lifts or dump trucks. Power is available any time the engine is running.
Long, proud history of producing high-quality transmissions
The Sharonville Transmission Plant has been producing high-quality transmissions for more than 50 years. In fact, the plant recently received the company’s North American President’s Quality Award for Best Transmission Plant – the third in the past four years based on the quality of the 5R110 transmission that the 6R140 replaces. Sharonville Transmission Plant is the only manufacturing facility to have received this award in two consecutive years.
Testament to the varied skills and experience of the Sharonville work force, which includes about 1,525 hourly and 135 salaried employees, is that the plant produces a wide range of transmissions, both front and rear drive, and components, including torque converters and gearsets. In fact, every Ford, Lincoln and Mercury product sold in North America has a connection to Sharonville through its transmission.
“The Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant is a vital part of our community and the surrounding region. We are very fortunate to have such a successful company continue to invest in our future. Ford is important to Sharonville and their jobs are important to the families of our area,” said Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt.
The production of the 6R140 builds on the high level of flexibility and common standards and practices that have been in place for Sharonville’s previous three transmission programs. Each work group, for example, includes a team leader and individual specialists in safety, quality, productivity and maintenance. Sharonville operates on three shifts, and machining and manufacturing is done on reassignable equipment to maximize flexibility.
In addition to the flexible manufacturing processes, Ford common standards and practices have led to greener manufacturing.
“The amount and usage of oils and coolants – including water – during manufacturing processes has been significantly reduced,” Thieman said. “This is part of our common process standards and has been part of all programs for our previous three transmission builds.”
Extensive community involvement
In addition to producing transmissions of the highest quality, the Sharonville team is dedicated to the greater Cincinnati community. The plant’s philanthropy outreach includes JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Over the Top Award/Cincinnati Top Walk Team Contributor, 2008 March of Dimes Babies Sponsor and Top Team and a local contribution of $500,000 to the United Way in the past three years.
Sharonville Transmission Plant at a glance
* Opened in 1958; first product was the three-speed Ford-O-Matic transmission
* Plant has produced more than 41 million units
* Site size is 182 acres; plant size is 2.415 million square feet
* About 1,525 hourly and 135 salaried employees