Sharp-eyed analysts ensure quality
30 SEPTEMBER 2016
Premium is Scania’s hallmark. Each new part in the new generation of trucks – roughly 2,500 parts in total – has been carefully scrutinised by a group of analysts in design quality.
At least once, but often two or three times at different stages of product development and during the production process, they spend up to half an hour per part carefully examining it to detect any flaws.
“We ensure that aftertreatment, colour, shape and texture are correct,” says Ida Bäck, an analyst with the Appearance Approval department. “We make sure to find anything that differs, for example, shine and colour.”
The analysts compare plastic parts against a template, or master specimen, that has been verified to correspond exactly to the desired final colour and shape.
“Most examinations can be carried out with the naked eye, but we need accurate and calibrated lighting to assess elements such as shine. We have a standard for what counts as natural light as well.”
The analysts have themselves been examined to find out if they have any deviations in terms of their colour perception. Among other tests, they were asked to grade several difficult colour scales in 20 descending shades.
“But we cannot just look at a single part. As they have a context, even small deviations can negatively affect the harmony of the whole,” says Senior Engineer Anna Kjernsvik. “We need to reinforce the positive feeling experienced by customers when they climb into our cab. If you look around, you can find lots of cars that do not fulfil the same quality demands as our new generation of trucks.”
Each small part is defined by various standards. Just the requirements that the leather-covered wheel needs to fulfil are 15 pages long and describe very small acceptable deviations in the organic material down to the smallest detail.
Excellent quality does not necessarily need to cost more.
“It’s about human relationships, about how you communicate. You need to be on your toes and always feel that you can achieve better quality,” says Flavien Ponsin, an analyst in design quality.