Revolutionizing Quality Control in automotive: How Ford Otosan Turned Challenges into QC Excellence

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Industry: Automotive
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Location: Eskisehir, Türkiye
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Ford Otosan's Eskisehir plant has revolutionized its quality control processes implementing Taskimo, addressing the challenge of high staff turnover by simplifying the end-of-line inspections with dynamic checklists and multimedia guidance. This has enabled even inexperienced staff to perform complex quality controls with minimal training. The system's real-time dashboards and analytical tools provide Ford with immediate insights into quality defects and inspection efficiencies, fostering a robust continuous improvement environment and maintaining the high-quality standards synonymous with the Ford brand.

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“The implementation of this innovative system has been nothing short of transformative. Taskimo has significantly reducing the learning curve for our QC staff, which is a game-changer in an industry where precision is paramount. Our end-of-line inspections have become more efficient and accurate, ensuring that even our newest team members can perform complex quality checks with confidence and ease. The real-time dashboards and analytics have provided us with immediate insights into quality control issues, allowing us to swiftly address any concerns and maintain the high standards that the Ford brand is known for. “

Muhsin Ertogrul
Manager, Vehicle Evaluation & Truck Quality Systems, Ford Trucks

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In the dynamic landscape of automotive manufacturing, Ford Otosan's Eskisehir plant faces grapples with the universal issue of elevated staff turnover. Sustaining high-quality and safety standards for the revered Ford brand necessitates ongoing training and guidance for newly appointed quality control staff. The challenge lies in seamlessly integrating these staff members into a system where precision and attention to detail are paramount. The complexity of trucks as highly customizable vehicles demands intricate quality control systems, particularly considering the diverse regulations imposed by each country, leading to a myriad of component variations and safety sign requirements. This is particularly a formidable challenge as it endeavors to export Ford Trucks vehicles to over 80 countries worldwide. Remarkably, a single Ford truck can have over 190 variants, each subjected to an end-of-line quality checklist with 120-190 checkpoints.

Currently, Ford Otosan conducts quality control operations at two stations: the End-of-line QC station, where production trucks undergo a checklist tailored to the model, configuration, and target market, and a segregated inspection area where randomly selected vehicles face more detailed measurements in specific quality Key Quality Parameters.

Before the implementation of Taskimo, the end-of-line inspection process was a manual undertaking. Each quality control staff member was tasked with memorizing the sequential QC activities for each truck model, configuration, and target market, resulting in a cumbersome and error-prone process. Inefficiencies were exacerbated as staff had to manually input quality defect information on a legacy system, walking back and forth between the inspection site and a panel PC. Furthermore, this manual process lacked visual records, hindering the ability to capture crucial evidence of any identified issues. In the second inspection area, all inspections were similarly handled manually, with findings recorded on Excel sheets. This not only posed a risk of errors but also consumed valuable management time as reporting was a labor-intensive, manual process.

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Ford Otosan has successfully implemented Taskimo in both quality control stations. Rather than replacing the existing legacy quality management system, Taskimo seamlessly integrates into the process, effectively managing quality control activities and delivering digital QC results in an augmented format back to the legacy system.

In the end-of-line QC station, Taskimo facilitates a precise and efficient inspection process for each Ford Truck. Upon scanning the barcode containing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), a specific QC checklist is dynamically delivered to the operator's mobile device. This checklist guides the operator through a sequence of control tasks, supported by rich guidance materials such as how-to descriptions, documentation, and multimedia resources like animated GIFs or instructional videos. To further streamline the process, Taskimo adapts dynamically, presenting additional questions based on specific answers, reducing the cognitive burden on QC staff.

In the second QC station, Taskimo conveniently provides pertinent quality control checklists directly to operators' mobile devices. Operators engaged in systematically entering duration or applied force metrics frequently encounter the need to input intricate values comprising two or three digits. In this scenario, Taskimo's min-max value threshold functionality comes into play. For every control activity, Taskimo predefines min-max tolerance levels, ensuring that operators systematically input only relevant data for a specific parameter. This proactive measure serves to prevent typos and guarantees the accuracy of the recorded information.

Besides, Taskimo allows for an unlimited number of issue notes and media attachments to be associated to each control task, seamlessly integrating this data into the legacy system for comprehensive reporting and analysis. As QC operators handle control tasks, user information, activity duration, and identified issues are automatically recorded. The system generates reports, emails, and more, saving them to the Sharepoint server. Notably, frequently occurring quality defects are automatically listed in a detailed dashboard, providing real-time insights for quality managers into model-based quality realizations and problematic parts/assembly operations.

Furthermore, Taskimo introduces a robust reporting mechanism that evaluates comparative QC operator efficiency levels, providing insights into total and task-based QC activity durations per model. This reporting scheme identifies superstars within the QC team and highlights areas where additional training may be beneficial, ensuring the overall excellence of Ford Otosan's quality control staff.

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Upon integrating Taskimo into its operations, Ford has experienced prompt and significant enhancements in its quality management processes. The system has enabled real-time visibility into emerging quality defects and facilitated the generation of automated quality reports. This advancement has successfully eliminated redundant data entry and enriched quality control data with pertinent media, thereby optimizing task-specific activity metrics and bolstering the pertinence of quality control data.

Taskimo has effectively addressed the challenges associated with high staff turnover rates. Quality Control (QC) personnel are no longer required to commit inspection procedures to memory for various vehicle options. The system's ability to present the correct sequence of QC tasks tailored to each model, coupled with the provision of guidance documents, instructional videos, and detailed descriptions, has simplified the inspection process. Consequently, even newly recruited staff members can execute comprehensive QC checklists with minimal training.

Taskimo's dashboards furnish Ford with instantaneous insights into prevalent quality issues by control task, allowing for timely communication with the relevant assembly stations.Moreover, Ford has enhanced its analytical capabilities with Taskimo by automatically obtaining comparative average inspection timelines for each model and QC staff member. These insights are invaluable for identifying and addressing areas in need of improvement.

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About Ford Otosan

Established in 1977 as a collaborative effort between Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding, two automotive powerhouses, Ford Otosan emerged to address the escalating demand for commercial vehicles within Turkey and globally. Holding the distinguished title of the largest automotive producer in Turkey, Ford Otosan has been a linchpin in the nation's automotive sector, manufacturing a diverse array of vehicles encompassing commercial trucks, vans, and buses. Currently overseeing the sole lighthouse Ford plant and standing as one of only four such lighthouse automotive factories worldwide, Ford Otosan operates three factories in Turkey and one in Romania.

The Ford Otosan Eskisehir factory, occupying an extensive total indoor area of 88,000 square meters and an expansive 1.1 million square meters of open space, boasts a production capacity of 15,000 units of trucks and tractors, 75,000 engines for Ford Trucks and Transit models, and 140,000 rear axles for Transit. To date, the Eskişehir Plant has accomplished the production of over 225,000 trucks and tractors, along with exceeding 993,000 engine units. Notably, the Ford Trucks vehicles manufactured here are destined for international markets, with an ambitious plan to expand their reach to 81 export markets across three continents by the year 2024.

Serving as Ford of Europe's exclusive production hub for rear axles of Transit models, the Eskişehir plant has positioned itself to export 70,000 axle pipes to North America following a capacity increase investment initiated in 2018. The facility is also the sole production center in Turkey where vehicle, diesel engine, and powertrains are manufactured under one roof. Among the noteworthy products crafted at the Eskişehir plant are the Duratorq and Ecoblue engines featured in Transit models, as well as the Ecotorq truck engines. These engines, developed with a substantial investment exceeding $100 million, comply with the stringent Euro 6 emission standards and proudly hold 100% Ford Otosan-owned intellectual property rights.