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The fact that it takes several years to develop each new model is well known, and the production preparations take more than just weeks or months, too.

“The first steps are made about 48 months before the series production launch – at that point one of the key decisions is to select the most suitable location, i.e. decide whether we will be able to manufacture the new model on some of the existing production lines or whether it will have to be a greenfield project,” says Irena Šubrtová of Kvasiny’s Project Management Department.

The final decision as to whether or not the project will be implemented is made 33 months prior to the series production launch. Next stage is a detailed plan for each site involved. Press tools and welding equipment are ordered about two years before the production start.

“Our involvement in any new-model development project starts at the stage of the first design data. Obviously, each model comes with a whole lot of documents, from detailed lists of all parts to installation and assembly manuals, quality check instructions, etc. The key information we receive from Technological Development includes vehicle dimensions, design data and required quantities, and, obviously, we also need to make sure we meet all of the set project milestones,” says Irena Šubrtová.

Each model comes with a whole lot of documents, from detailed lists of all parts to installation and assembly manuals, quality check instructions, etc.

Irena Šubrtová

The production line staff are trained in the new model about eight months before the series production launch.

Jiří Závorka

The series production stage is preceded by pre-series vehicles whose purpose is to check the preparedness of the plant and its suppliers. Individual parts and components are checked by the Quality Department, whole vehicles are used primarily by Technological Development for pre-series tests.

The plant’s Launch Management Department intensifies its involvement in the project eighteen months prior to the series production launch. “At that point we start regular meetings to monitor the project progress and status. We joint the project earlier, though – we analyse the launch costs on the Production side and establish the number of pre-series vehicles to be required,” says Jiří Závorka of Production Launch Management.

“The production line staff are trained in the new model from the point when the first test vehicle arrives at the series production site, i.e. from the point when we get the first parts from suppliers. That is about eight months before the series production launch,” says Jiří Závorka, continuing his explanation.

Tested throughout the pre-series production period, vehicles are put to strength, impact and long-term road tests to check the functionality and durability of all systems, including the electronics. “All these efforts are based on a detailed plan that, to a large extent, is influenced by the respective homologation processes and regulations, to ensure, for example, that the vehicles do a sufficient number of kilometres to demonstrate adequate durability of individual components. We create a launch chart (curve) for the series production start – the curve starts with fairly low numbers of vehicles and then, over a certain period of time, it reaches the maximum production-line capacity,” adds Jiří Závorka.

The KAROQ will be produced on Kvasiny’s production lines, and the Production Department completed all preparations in late June. The Welding Shop’s planning units and the respective suppliers designed and produced new series tools, primarily large surface pressings that are visible at first sight, i.e. the sides, the bonnet, the tailgate and the wings. The Welding Shop, Paint Shop and Assembly integrated the new vehicle into their lines to make the new equipment ready for the pre-series production stage.

 

33 months of procurement

 

The last few months before the series production launch are a busy time also for the Procurement Department. The first step is to approach potential suppliers of all parts that cannot be manufactured internally for technological, capacity and/or space reasons, and it is therefore more effective to order them from third-party suppliers.

“We start selecting suppliers 33 months prior to the series production launch, and the key input data are provided in call-for-bids documents that we receive from Technological Development. The standard duration of a contractor selection process is 4 - 6 months. The call for bids for internally developed parts starts 27 months before the series production launch and usually takes 3 months,” says Jan Bergman of Procurement Project Management.

Technical data are continuously updated throughout the launch preparation period, and the Procurement Department needs to respond flexibly, with all deadlines and financial aspects in mind, and communicate all changes to the respective suppliers. “Our key task now is to procure all parts on time to ensure that the production launch in Kvasiny is smooth and to provide sufficient production capacities on the supplier side, because the first signals we are getting from dealers show that the demand for the KAROQ is enormous,” says Jan Bergman.

Our key task now is to procure all parts on time and to provide sufficient production capacities on the supplier side, because the demand for the KAROQ is enormous.

Jan Bergman

Series production milestones

 

Launch Release: the role of this milestone is to confirm that it is possible to produce the part concerned in the required quantity and quality, in line with the launch plan put together by the respective departments for the processes to follow.

 

Production of pre-series approval vehicles: the objective is to prepare the product and the process for PVS and test the respective processes as well as the first vehicles assembled by means of series-production technology.

 

PVS – test series: its role is to check the functionality of individual operational resources and assembly systems to ensure that they are ready for trouble-free series production operations.

 

Zeroth series: final test of the manufacturing/series production process. Its role is to check the suitability and dimensional stability of individual parts produced using series tools and the functionality of operational resources in the series-production context.

 

Vehicles produced for customers

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