Ford and cancer team work together for a better future

Ford quality director Mike Butler took action after his cancer to introduce practices from the car factory where he works so that his treatment might run more smoothly.


Mike and colleagues at the Ford assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, researched and proposed changes now being implemented as part of what is expected to become Europe’s biggest dedicated cancer unit.


In return, staff at the renowned Centre for Integrated Oncology (CIO) at the University of Cologne, one of Germany’s leading cancer centres, are applying their experience of big data to Ford research into future vehicles.


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A team of 10 to 15 Ford engineers met with hospital administrators as well as patients, nurses, and doctors back in 2008 to reveal the advanced technologies and efficient processes that have enabled the Ford Fiesta Cologne plant to become one of the world’s most efficient vehicle production plants.


Coloured lines on walls and floors make it easier for staff, patients, and visitors to find their way around; and large screens will help make communication between key medical employees easier. This, along with flexible rooms with removable dividers rather than rigid wards and fixed nursing stations, has contributed to a 30 per cent improvement in patient flow.