The idea of allowing workers to stop a moving assembly line originated in Japan and when western manufacturers saw it, they could not believe that the company could allow it workers to do such a thing. In American factories, there was less trust by management and it was thought that workers would unnecessarily stop the lines to sabotage operations. However, seeing how useful it is, many western factories now have an ANDON system as well.
The doorless assembly is implemented for the MVF whereby all doors of the Waja are disassembled after painting, sent to a door assembly sub-line for installation of the door module and then re-assembled at the last portion of the final assembly line. The benefits of the doorless systems are: smooth movement of parts and workers; a narrower production line by 2.4 metres from the Wira line resulting in a shorter and reduced walking distance for the workers; and better quality and reduction in defects due to scratches, dent and bumps by 50%, as the completed doors are fixed to the car near the end.
A foolproof (POKAYOKE) system in the assembly equipment is installed for the critical and safety-related torque devices (bolts and nut runners, wrenches, etc.). A total of 40 devices are equipped with a central monitoring computer which checks that design torque values are met. Any misoperation will cause the line to stop and the operator needs to manually torque the component. The manual torque wrench is linked electronically to the computer and reconfirms the assembly operation is done correctly and thus restart the line automatically. There is therefore no way for human error to allow an improperly tightened car to continue down the assembly.
Several ergonomically-designed assembly processes such as the introduction of power-assisted equipment for heavy components (tyres, batteries, cockpit, door etc) and automation for critical-to-quality installation (key spot-welding using 27 robots, glass sealant applications, etc) are features that make the MVF a worker-friendly plant. Automation levels are 32% in the Body Shop where welding of the bodies takes place, 42% in the Paint Shop and 8% on the Trim & Final Line. The tall height of the building also provides good ventilation.
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