Ford Doors

Climb Aboard!

Bertrandt tests doors, tailgates and bonnets for Ford
The Closures department at the Bertrandt site in Cologne has been working in partnership with Ford for almost 15 years. The engineers and technicians in the team have established a reputation with the customer as door specialists. The department’s most recent collaborative projects with Ford include the Ford Galaxy, Ford S-MAX and Ford Kuga.

From the start through to volume production

From 2003 to 2005 Bertrandt managed the development of all the doors, bonnets and tailgates for the new Ford Galaxy and Ford S-MAX. A team of around 30 Bertrandt employees in Cologne developed and managed the bonnets, front doors, rear doors and tailgates of both vehicles, from the pre-development phase right through to the release for volume production. Bertrandt employees also worked at Ford on the durability of the doors. This involved virtual testing of the doors for factors such as door sag (static), over-opening (static) and slamming (dynamic). The improvements resulting from these tests were incorporated into the development loops. A strong team supporting Ford. Around 30 Bertrandt engineers and technicians provide support for the development of doors, bonnets and tailgates for the Ford S-MAX.

New solutions for the Ford Kuga
Bertrandt played a major role in the development of the new Ford Kuga, which was launched on the German market in June 2008. The CAD team working on site at Ford provided support for the conceptual design of the doors, bonnet and tailgate right from the beginning and remained involved until the end, in areas such as welding processes and door surround tests. The Bertrandt team took on a consultancy role after the conceptual design had been produced and the detailed CAD work was outsourced.

Strong team for future generations of vehicles
On each project Bertrandt became involved during the pre-development stage with the Ford closures team. At the end of the concept phase came a transition phase with Ford basic design (R&D), during which the Bertrandt engineers were informed about all the concept ideas and developments. Bertrandt used this as the basis for developing new concept solutions for Ford’s planned next generation of vehicles and was able to put innovative ideas into practice in the projects. One example of this is the design of the “tailgate inside a tailgate” concept for the Ford Kuga. This involved developing a plastic tailgate which was integrated into the steel tailgate.

During the next phase the focus was on the development processes which led up to the creation of the finished CAD product. Using CATIA V5 and customerspecific development methods Bertrandt produced a complete 3D geometry for each component. Bertrandt provided all the relevant systems with information during the development phase, including the release systems such as WERS, FDVS or AIMS. In addition, Bertrandt provided support for the introduction of CATIA V5 and the PLM system (TCE) at Ford.

Each project was based on the newly introduced Global Product Development System(GPDS) which involved very tight deadlines. Between 50 and 60 Bertrandt employees are currently working in the body closures department at Ford’s development centre in Merkenich. These employees collaborate with the Styling-, Craftsmanship-, Vehicle Package-, Manufacturing-, Stampingand CAE-Departments to develop doors, bonnets and tailgates for Ford models – from the initial concept through to volume production.

Opening the door to a long-term partnership: the Ford Mondeo and Cougar lay the foundations, the C-MAX and Focus follow

Bertrandt’s Cologne site gained its first experience of developing doors, bonnets and tailgates for Ford as early as 1994. The young team grew quickly, as it impressed Ford on its early projects with its expertise and high levels of quality. Initially Bertrandt was involved with developing the bonnet for the first Mondeo and later with the side doors and tailgate for the Ford Cougar. As a result of the success of the collaboration, Ford entrusted Bertrandt in Cologne with a further two projects. In the spring of 2000 the development of the Ford C-MAX and Ford Focus began. A team of five Bertrandt employees were responsible for engineering the side doors and tailgates at Ford in Merkenich. Together with Ford engineers, the team worked on the vehicle package, CAE, design, production and sheet metal components. Ford was impressed by Bertrandt’s efforts and Bertrandt soon gained a reputation as a door specialist – a reputation the Cologne team still enjoys today.