Un­boun­ded con­ti­nual im­pro­ve­ment

AutoRevista - - Editorial -

Con­ti­nual im­pro­ve­ment has been one of the key te­nets of the au­to­mo­ti­ve in­dustry for the last de­ca­de. The sec­tor has al­ways sus­tai­ned that it is an end­less goal be­cau­se the­re is al­ways room to im­pro­ve a little mo­re, an ap­proach it has adop­ted in pur­suit of anot­her of the in­dustry’s ma­jor prin­ci­ples: zero de­fects. This ne­ver-en­ding quest for peer­less qua­lity, and to achie­ve it at the first at­tempt, is brought clo­ser wit­hin reach by the gro­wing ap­pli­ca­tion of new in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­no­lo­gies. Big da­ta, ri­go­rous tra­cea­bi­lity, real-ti­me mo­ni­to­ring of pro­ces­ses down to the last de­tail and co­lla­bo­ra­ti­ve ro­bo­tics, to na­me just a few fac­tors, are now be­co­ming a reality in OEMs’ and ma­jor sup­pliers’ fac­to­ries. Ma­nu­fac­tu­ring is ta­king on a dif­fe­rent feel, as can be seen at plants li­ke the Ford en­gi­ne fa­ci­lity in Al­mus­sa­fes. The­re, the US au­to­ma­ker is ma­king sig­ni­fi­cant stri­des in fields li­ke 3D prin­ting. In ad­di­tion to the no­ta­ble ad­van­ces in pro­duc­tion, Ford — exem­plif­ying the way the in­dustry is evol­ving — is al­so rai­sing its re­qui­re­ments as re­gards sus­tai­na­bi­lity and the use of re­sour­ces li­ke wa­ter. In this field, as in many ot­hers, the au­to­mo­ti­ve sec­tor should set the pa­ce.

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