Ford worked with Ideal Shield to create an environmentally-friendly process to replace existing guardrail that was installed in the Dearborn Truck Plant 13 years ago. The Dearborn Truck Plant sits on 1,100 acres and the plant is an impressive 2,600,000 square feet. Reconfiguring the current layout of the plant to meet the needs for the new all-aluminum 2014 F-150 was no small task. Ford’s obsession with efficiency created an environmentally-conscious culture. Ford wanted to reuse as many robots, control panels, welding equipment, and guarding protection as possible in the new facility layout. To paint existing guardrail sections, it would require 3,260 gallons of paint in a 10-year period plus labor costs.
Dearborn Truck Plant had 326 guardrail sections that needed replacement. Since a majority of the steel was structurally in great condition, Ideal Shield’s solution was to recondition the existing steel and sleeve it in new plastic. Reconditioning instead of installing brand new guardrail saved Ford an estimated $100,000. Trucks would come to pick up existing guardrail and bring it to Ideal Shield’s facility. From there, the old high-density thermoplastic (HDPE) was removed from the existing steel posts. The plastic would be ground up, recycled, and reused to manufacture Ideal Shield products. The steel posts were cut down and refabricated for base plate installation. The guardrail steel posts were then re-sleeved in new HDPE plastic. If necessary, the guardrail’s baseplates, end caps, and steel were replaced and the rehabbed guardrail was returned to Dearborn Truck Plant. Ideal Shield’s re-sleeving program makes the guardrail look brand new at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire unit.