Ford Builds a Portable Wind Tunnel Out of Shipping Containers

It's impossible to look at shipping containers without imagining something crazy happening around them. You know, those giant corrugated metal containers they put on freight boats? You probably don't see them much in real life, unless you work in a warehouse, but you've seen them all the time in movies.

Shipping crates, in popular culture, are almost always filled with zombies, robots, kidnapping victims, or bad guys lying in ambush. And, of course, an action-hero protagonist about to launch into a fight scene.

Well, Ford is going around to its assembly plants bearing shipping crates that are filled with none of those things. Take a look inside these crates, and you'll find two massive fans, each powered by a 250-horsepower motor.

It is the world's first portable aeroacoustic wind tunnel.

"This project was born from a desire to be the best when it comes to controlling and limiting the cabin noise customers are so sensitive to, and our new mobile wind tunnel saves our engineers time and increases productivity," said Bill Gulker, wind noise supervisor at Ford Motor Company. "It's a fine example of the innovation mindset we're trying to incorporate into everything we do."

Before the portable wind tunnel, Ford assembly plants had to ship their new vehicles across the country to be tested in one of Ford's $50 million aerodynamics labs. The process could take weeks.

With the wind tunnel able to set up, like a traveling carnival, in the parking lot of any factory, the test cycle is shorted to a matter of hours. Not only is the test time shorter, but people on the assembly side of the process can communicate directly with the aeroacoustic technicians for better collaboration and problem-solving.

Looking for new Ford vehicles? You can perform your own cabin-noise tests when you get behind the wheel at John Kennedy Ford Pottstown.

Categories: New Inventory, News
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