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Christopher Bruce2012-07-19 18:36:04

Ford Uses Ping Pong Balls to Measure Interior Space in New Escape

Ford says the ping-pong balls are more accurate than more traditional measurements

FordFordFordUnited Kingdom, 1909 > present33 models
3898 photos
5 videos
is mixing high tech and low tech in developing its new cars. We reported yesterday that Ford has a new robot to quantitatively evaluate the new FusionFusion Gen.2Ford Fusion Gen.2United States of America, 2012 > present31 versions
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. Now, it says that it uses ping-pong balls to calculate the interior spaces on its cars, especially the new EscapeEscape Gen.3Ford Escape Gen.3United States of America, 2012 > present10 versions
40 photos

According to Ford, using a measuring tape to find the length, width and height of a space and then multiplying is too inexact. Different engineers measure from different points, and areas like glove boxes and center consoles have too many curves and angles to make this method accurate. 

Instead Ford has developed an equation using ping-pong balls to find the volume of small areas. 

“It was just a quirky idea that came out of a team brainstorm. But we then did some studies using ping-pong balls and found capacities were more consistently measured, Eric Jackson, Vehicle Architecture supervisor.

The equation works by adding the volume of the ping-pong balls, which is a constant, to the volume of the air separating them to find the total volume. Ford says that there is a lower variance between results with its ping-pong method than with a traditional measuring tape.

Ford engineers also have access to laser scanning equipment for creating digital copies of small items. They can then make sure these items fit within the car's cavities. 

“Our team scans dozens of consumer goods from iPads to mountain bikes and wheelchairs to ensure these objects not only fit into our vehicles, but that there is a proper place for them,” said Ford engineer Sejal Shreffler.

The new Edge has specific areas for tickets and stubs in the visors, umbrellas in the passenger seat trim, a one-liter bottle and mp3 player in the center console and an 110v outlet in the floor console. 

Escape Gen.3Escape Gen.3

1 comment

Well, they could simply use water, so the volume computation would be perfect ;-)
20.07.2012 @ 21:03


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