Media publications often collect press cars for road-test reviews from a car company’s head office. Not this time.
When Nissan Australia offered 4×4 Australia magazine a long-term road test of a Navara PRO-4X Warrior by Premcar, editor Matt Raudonikis knew it was a great opportunity to show his readers what it’d be like to live with this locally-enhanced dual-cab 4×4.
But instead of collecting it from Nissan Australia’s Melbourne head office, we arranged a different option for Matt: the chance to join the Premcar manufacturing and assembly team to build his own car himself.
It made sense. Premcar HQ is just on the other side of the city. And Matt loved the idea of getting first-hand, real-world experience of OEM-level secondary manufacturing in today’s Australian car industry.
So we worked with the team at Nissan Australia to make it happen.
This was more than a look behind the scenes at Premcar.
We showcase our abilities through the new vehicles we create for carmakers. So having Matt join the build process of his own car was a chance for the Premcar team to show exactly what happens during the assembly portion of our new-car enhancement programs.
Matt’s an experienced journalist and editor. But he was able to walk into our manufacturing facility one morning and be shown how to help assemble the new car his publication would be reviewing. He could do that because of the years we’ve spent refining different engineering and manufacturing processes.
In truth, what Matt experienced was really the tip of the iceberg. We’ve streamlined these manufacturing processes and made them user-friendly with the aid of different lean production methods and principles. They all contribute to the quality of each finished vehicle we build.
Kaizen’s a good example.
The idea of continuous improvement applies throughout Premcar.
From complete engineering programs to new-car assembly to design to procurement; in a word, it’s everywhere.
Everyone’s part of our Kaizen approach and it shows in all places, from the daily workboards in our factory to standard operating procedures; even right down to the recorded steps in a new car’s development schedule.
5S is another principle we use. Tightly organising workspaces to be productive and error-free shows in everything, especially in safety, quality and the final product. Matt captured it in his article by saying:
“The team appears to find the right wrench for each bolt without looking, as everything is positioned where it needs to be to make the process as easy and safe as possible.”
TIMWOOD is another tool we use. It’s a great method I learned during my time as a production engineer for Toyota. The acronym addresses possible waste in the manufacturing process: is time lost during transportation? Is inventory not arriving on time? What about motion? Are people having to make unnecessary movements to complete their tasks? It’s a powerful list. And it works. Every day.
Another tool we use is called Poka-Yoke (yep, you read that right). It’s a way of fool-proofing the assembly process to ensure any mistakes don’t end up in customers’ hands. It’s highly effective. Even the world’s most renowned manufacturing teams use it.
They’re all part of the total new-vehicle manufacturing process we’ve carefully developed over 26 years. Its shows in the quality of the vehicles we develop and build, and the apparent ease with which they come together (just ask Matt).
Matt Raudonikis comfortably slotted into our team. And he did a great job. He summarised it nicely when he reported:
“The work that the team at Premcar does is next level!”
The team and I of course felt a beam of pride reading that line. But reaching that point takes a long road. Matt’s also right when he said a lot of it comes from our history of working with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Ford, Toyota and Nissan.
Matt, thanks again. You were great to have onboard.
Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd
About Premcar – Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. As the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines, Premcar’s body of work is extensive and has delivered technical and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit premcar.com.
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