June 01, 2012

Ford subjects all-new Transit Custom to extreme temperature, 550,000-slam door test

Most people learn as children that you are not supposed to slam the door. The engineers that created the all-new Ford Transit Custom clearly didn’t get the message.

In fact, the Ford team slammed the doors of its new van more 550,000 times to make sure than it can
withstand the day-to-day usage of some of most demanding customers over the course of many years. 

Ford slammed the Transit Custom front doors 250,000 times, the sliding side door 150,000 times, and the rear cargo door 150,000 times in a special test facility where temperatures can be plunged to -40-degrees celsius, sent soaring to 82-degrees celsius, and deliver 85 per cent humidity.

“This is a modern-day torture test, more than half-a-million slams, in everything from tropical heat to Arctic cold,” said Barry Gale, Chief Engineer, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

The all-new Transit Custom is a completely new one-tonne commercial vehicle from Ford. It will go sale in Europe and other markets later this year following its debut at the Birmingham, England, commercial vehicle show. The 550,000 door-slam test is just one of a range of rigorous testing procedures Ford has used to make sure the all-new vehicle lives up to the legendary Transit reputation for superb reliability.

The 250,000 front door slams compare to 84,000 slams delivered by the equivalent car test. This reflects the greater frequency of door-use and tougher treatment meted out to working vans.

Ford records and analyses real-life slams so the test machinery replicates real-life customer behaviour. This includes observing and recording the speed and the degree of force used to slam a door, including both regular and severe slams. The test replicates the fastest speeds used by 90 per cent of customers.

Testing takes place within a special automated rig in Ford’s development centre in Merkenich, Germany. Engineers monitor the precision testing and check the doors regularly for any sign of damage or weakness.

“After our new vans have been through this, they are ready for anything,” said Gale.

Production of the new Transit Custom will start later this year at Ford’s plant in Kocaeli, Turkey


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