SEAT Quality Training
- SEAT implements a new training course to sharpen the sight, touch, hearing and smell of the employees who certify the quality of cars
- Precision and ability to concentrate are some of the skills these specialists must possess
- In the age of Industry 4.0, the human element still remains irreplaceable
Martorell, 02/05/2018. – Human beings are capable of detecting more than 10,000 different smells, hearing sounds on frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz and distinguishing millions of colours. Although the senses are an innate capacity in people, they must be trained to learn how to get the most out of them. The Quality department at SEAT has implemented the Sensory Training Centre, where employees receive special training to sharpen their sight, hearing, touch and smell. These specialists will be responsible for the final inspection of the cars before they leave the factory and are purchased by customers.
-The role of the senses: "It's smooth and round. I'd say it's a ball", says one of the participants as she conducts a touch test while blindfolded. Opposite her is Alvaro Nino, the teacher of the course at the Quality Training Centre. The goal is to perfect their perception abilities "so they can learn how to use them when they inspect the quality of the vehicles" throughout the manufacturing process, explains Alvaro.
-What does the leather smell like?: The training consists in practical exercises such as smell tests. The students have to identify whether the smell of the leather or plastic is suitable. They are also asked to identify smells of daily life, for example, of aromatic herbs such as lavender. When it comes to hearing tests, the participants have to detect possible discordant sounds in a simulator.
-The all-seeing eye: "Detail-oriented, observant, perfectionist and precise" are the traits that characterise these experts, according to the teacher. Following their training they are able to detect "deviations of 1 millimetre or slight colour variations that are difficult to perceive at first sight", confirms Alvaro. Around 260 employees will be attending this course, including new as well as current personnel, who will update their knowledge every two years.
-2,300 cars inspected daily: In order to accurately verify the quality of the cars, the team performs an inspection routine around each vehicle that lasts eight minutes. They inspect the inside and outside, and make sure that the doors and boot close correctly so they can give the car the 'Q' for quality before it leaves the production line.
-Man and the machine: 2,000 robots in the Sheet Metal workshop and 12 5 autonomous robots in workshops 9 and 10 work side by side every day with the 7,000 workers in the Martorell factory. "We have the tools, we have the technology, but we can never replace the human element", concludes Alvaro.