The 40-year-old Ford factory based in Valencia, Spain, has recently undergone a £1.7bn transformation into a car-manufacturing haven of hi-tech robots and ostrich feathers. Yes, ostrich feathers!
Out of all the things you would expect in a Ford factory, an abundance of fluffy plumage is certainly not one of them!
With their unique structure and durability, the feathers are perfect for eradicating every fiber and dust particle from the car’s surface to prepare it for painting. The static electricity attracts particles away from the car’s surface and into what looks like a giant feather duster!
Not only do the cars, and their surroundings, have to be dust free, the visitors must be fiber free too. To prevent particles and clothes fibers being carried into the factory, individuals have to go through an ‘air shower’, removing anything potentially harmful to the final quality of the paintwork.
Once the vehicle has been painted, a futuristic hi-res camera, which spots even the most microscopic of imperfections, then scans it, highlighting the imperfections through a colour coding system, each colour matching a level of severity. This partnered with the dust-busting feathers, means that Ford can ensure extremely high quality paintwork in far less time.
The beauty about using ostrich feathers is that, not only do they do a heroic job at cleaning; they are also so robust that they are capable of lasting for over 20 years, providing that they receive the right care.