At AMTA-2002 we presented a deployed application of Machine Translation (MT) at Ford Motor Company in the domain of vehicle assembly process planning. This application uses an MT system developed by SYSTRAN to translate Ford’s manufacturing process build instructions from English to Spanish, German, Dutch and Portuguese. Our MT system has already translated over 2 million instructions into these target languages and is an integral part of our manufacturing process planning to support Ford’s assembly plants in Europe, Mexico and South America. A major component of the MT system development was the creation of a set of technical glossaries for the correct translation of automotive and Ford-specific terminology. Due to the dynamic nature of the automobile industry we need to keep these technical glossaries current as our terminology frequently changes due to the introduction of new manufacturing technologies, vehicles and vehicle features. In addition, our end-users need to be able to test and modify translations and see these results deployed in a timely manner. In this paper we will discuss the tools and business process that we have developed in conjunction with SYSTRAN in order to maintain and customize our MT system and improve its performance in the face of an ever-changing business environment.
An assessment of machine translation for vehicle assembly process planning at Ford Motor Company
Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas: User Studies
For over ten years, Ford Vehicle Operations has utilized an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to assist in the creation and maintenance of process build instructions for our vehicle assembly plants. This system, known as the Direct Labor Management System, utilizes a restricted subset of English called Standard Language as a tool for the writing of process build instructions for the North American plants. The expansion of DLMS beyond North America as part of the Global Study Process Allocation System (GSPAS) required us to develop a method to translate these build instructions from English to other languages. This Machine Translation process, developed in conjunction with SYSTRAN, has allowed us to develop a system to automatically translate vehicle assembly build instructions for our plants in Europe and South America.