Allied Vehicles has achieved Ford’s coveted QVM accreditation on our Connect Freedom™ model. The Quality Vehicle Modifier programme is Ford’s own scheme for recognising and promoting excellence in vehicle conversions and was established in America over 30 years ago.
The programme assesses each stage of the manufacturing process, from the production line to vehicle delivery, to ensure that the level of quality reaches Ford’s high level. It is a voluntary scheme for all final stage manufacturers – not component suppliers or intermediate stage modifiers.
To obtain the accreditation work began in April 2016, with the recruitment of a dedicated Quality Engineer. His job was to review processes and re-tests for European Whole Vehicle Type Approval on vehicles that required changes.
The team at Allied worked extremely hard throughout the project and on the final assessment day. Allied’s Homologation Engineer, Ian Hopely, worked with Ford to achieve the accreditation.
He said: “Ford’s engineers from Germany who visited the plant were a pleasure to deal with. They have fantastic product knowledge and plenty of constructive comments to help us along the way.
“The effects of the Ford programme have been very far-reaching, and the amount of overlap between this scheme and the Conformity of Production requirements in type approval has helped in many other ways”.
Ford assessors inspected Allied’s entire operation from receiving the base vehicles into the yard, right through to final QC and valeting. They inspected the sub-assemblies manufactured in pre-production, as well as the methods used to install those parts in the vehicle. On top of this, they looked at the warranty system, parts provision and customer care as well as the engineering design process.
In the assessors’ report the EasyGlide™ fold-flat accessible ramp attracted praise, as did Allied’s high standard of testing which goes beyond the minimum legal requirements for wheelchairs and wheelchair tie-downs.
Ian added: “This has been a long journey, involving a great deal of hard work from a great many people within the company. There can be no doubt that the cars we are building are now of better quality and more consistent.”