DV Automation is to supply 10 machines to Ford's plant in Thailand as part of a multi-million euro deal won by its parent company to build a complete automated manufacturing line at Rayong.

The UK-based manufacturer of complete closure assembly systems for vehicle bodies will produce 7 electro-mechanical, table top hemming machines and 3 pre-bending stations for the contract which has been awarded to KUKA Systems GmbH.

The DVA machines will be used to hem the hood, front and rear doors, liftgate and decklid panels for the new Ford Focus. Some of the DVA machines are combination systems, meaning they can undertake external and internal window aperture hemming operations on the same unit.

KUKA expects the installation of the automated line, which will comprise a series of underbody, body side, door and hatch manufacturing stations, to be completed by the end of next year. As well as involving DVA engineers from its Halesowen headquarters, the project will be supported by KUKA staff from China, Germany and the USA.

"This order represents one of our largest contracts and appears to show that major vehicle makers such as Ford are stepping up their investment in new projects," commented Mark Schlanker, DVA's business manager.

"The benefits of table top hemming are not only a more robust, stable process, but also better accuracy and productivity for high volume purposes. In addition, our solutions use low energy consumption electric drives and do not require any specialist maintenance knowledge," he added.

DVA, established for 21 years, produces machines for car manufacturers and Tier One component makers in Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Recent customers include BMW Germany and Fiat's joint venture plant in Turkey. DVA and KUKA Systems GmbH are part of KUKA AG, a global business based in Augsburg, Germany, with annual sales of €900m and 5,700 staff.

For more details contact DVA on +44 (0) 121 585 3333 or email sales@dvautomation.co.uk.