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Interesting tidbits about Ridgeline assembly

1922 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  shovelhd
Full article - not about the R-L specifically

Honda's Alliston, Ontario Plant: Notes From the Field

* Plant 1 has been building cars since 1986. Plant 2 started truck production with the Odyssey minivan in August 1998. Acura's MD-X was added in 2000, and Honda's Pilot followed in 2002. Ridgeline SUT production began in January 2005 after Odyssey assembly was shifted to Alabama.
* Ridgeline is Honda's longest vehicle, and has a fold-down tailgate that further diminishes the space between vehicles on the line. To keep them from running into each other, the speed of the overhead lines is altered at critical points, then returned to normal to keep production flowing.
* A jig created in-house eliminates the need to transfer the tailgate between fixtures to reduce the chance of marring its surface. The jig travels from welding to paint to assembly, and also helps align the tailgate to the pickup bed. Six workers created the device, which is the subject of a patent application.
* Stamping is located between the two assembly plants, with a new line for the Ridgeline body side. Both the Pilot and MD-X panels are stamped on the original line.
* A line-side storage area was modified to handle construction of the pickup bed inner. Completed bed liner are placed on aluminum dollies, then rolled across the aisle for installation. They're installed after the tailgate, and are designed so the inner bed structure guides the liner into place.
* The robotic glass installation system must "thread the needle" with the Ridgeline's near-vertical rear window. It slides the glass forward just above the bed floor until the glass is between the rear buttresses, then raises and moves it forward until it seats.
* The Ridgeline's bumper cover is so large it takes two people to rotate it into place, snap the sides over a mount on each side of the body, then drive the fasteners home.
* HVAC units are mounted on an assist arm and loaded into the vehicle where a worker sitting along the vehicle centerline tightens the fasteners.
* Instrument panels also enter the vehicles on an assist arm. The same worker who guided the HVAC unit into place connects the wiring harness, lifts the panel onto hooks located on the bulkhead, and tightens it down.
* The rear suspension and powertrain/front suspension unit come to the line at the same time and are attached in 45 seconds. They are followed in quick succession by the center-bearing driveshaft, exhaust system and underbody panels.
* After a short spin on a 4-wheel dyno, the trucks spend about 5 minutes on the test track behind the plants. They drive over a long cobblestone strip just inside the door before entering the water test booth on their return.
* Orders come into the plant in lots of 30 on a two-month projection. Thus, the mix can be altered without building large numbers of the "wrong" vehicles. Models for Mexico are built in lots of 15, then followed by a lot of 45 to create two lots of "30."
* Officially, 2006 Ridgeline production is set at 53,000, but production is currently at 330/day. The potential exists to build nearly 80,000 units this model year, and increase that to 100,000 units for 2007, when the Alabama plant adds the Pilot to its mix.
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I love reading stuff like this!
" I did not know that" !
Thanks for the link. Cool stuff. :cool:
Water test. Hmmm.
Guy squirting a hose at the ridge as it drives by at 60 mph? :eek:
Hmm, water test? Instead of the hose was the guy pissing into the wind?
Water test booth.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
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