NEW BMC ASSEMBLY LINE
By our industrial staff
A new , highly mechanised car assembly building, with a capacity of 2,500 cars a week , has come into full operation at the Longbridge works of the British Motor Corporation , Birmingham . It will increase the capacity of the factory from 8,000 to 10,500 vehicles a week.
The new building, which is for paint, trim, finishing, and final assembly, is one of the biggest single contributions to BMC’s expansion plans under which productive capacity will rise to 1,000,000 vehicles a year. Initial production began in the glass sided , 960ft long building earlier this year and a proportion of Morris 1100’s has been produced there to supplement output at Cowley . Full production on both assembly conveyors, each capable of dealing with 1,250 cars a week, is now within reach.
Bodies are brought into the building after going through a preliminary rust-proofing process, automatically lifted to the body storage balcony, and are not man-handled again until the car is driven off the end of the assembly line. In the intervening time they are moved automatically on conveyors or slung on overhead conveyors on which a total of £750,000 has been spent.
After assembly the cars are subjected to a wind and water test, equivalent to driving down a motorway at 40 mph in a heavy storm. While the car is driven on rollers , water is directed on to it from all angles , driven by an artificial gale. This is in addition to the various inspections carried out at stations along the conveyor. Mr W. H. Cross , superintendent of the car assembly planning department , said: “We think this new building will apply the most searching quality checks that have ever been known in motor vehicle manufacture.”