Quality Progress - July 2015 - (Page 12)

KEEPINGCURRE AUTOMOTIVE Common Parts, Common Problems G Takata recall magnifies risks of global automotive platforms, use of same suppliers General Motors (GM), Ford, BMW, Honda, product commonality in vehicles and the amount of vehicle architectures, or plat- Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), use of the same suppliers among auto- forms, on which they build their models, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Diamler Trucks, Mazda makers. meaning more models contain common and Nissan: 11 of the largest, most well- "A recall of this scope illustrates the known automakers in the world continue potential for massive automaker expense to add models to a growing list of vehicles and consumer inconvenience when a Andreas Radics, 24% of all manufactured that contain potentially dangerous air bag common, mass-produced part is defec- vehicles in 2014 were built on 10 big plat- inflators manufactured by auto parts sup- tive," said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at forms worldwide. That percentage could plier Takata Corp. parts. According to research by consultant climb to 30% by 2020 and further Japan-based Takata acknowledged increase the need for common parts last month its air bag inflators could that can be interchanged among vari- explode when deployed and spew ous models. metal shrapnel at drivers and pas- Volkswagen was the first major sengers. This admission resulted in a OEM to adopt this concept on a large recall of 33.8 million vehicles in the scale. The automaker can build more United States and another 7 million than 40 vehicle models on one plat- worldwide-the largest auto recall form-its front-wheel drive modular in history and one of the largest con- transverse matrix (MQB) architecture. sumer products recalls ever. The MQB platform standardizes the The problem already has been engine position and the distance blamed for six deaths and 100 inju- between the front axle and pedal box. ries, and a definitive root cause still The width, length and wheelbase can hasn't been identified. The focus of change based on the model. the investigation, however, has been GM is moving from 30 core and on a propellant in the air bag inflators regional platforms in 2010 to 26 in called ammonium nitrate, which can 2015, and eventually to four flexible degrade over time and explode in certain Kelley Blue Book. "Ironically, the use of platforms by 2025, according to a report conditions, such as high humidity. Takata common parts across markets and manu- by consulting firm Strategy&. Toyota, said its analyses show a majority of cases facturers is meant to save money, yet a too, is rethinking and simplifying how it involved the use of a batwing-shaped recall of this size will cost the industry builds its vehicles by adopting a modular propellant wafer. billions."1 platform called the Toyota New Global The widespread impact of the recall Architecture, which maximizes the use of on so many makes and models points to Modularization, consolidation the risks of a growing trend within the The adoption of global platforms means auto industry among others-globaliza- automotive original equipment manufac- cost savings by adopting global platforms tion and adoption of global manufacturing turers (OEM) are increasing the number because sharing common components platforms, which have resulted in greater of models they offer while reducing the enhances flexibility, increases volume, 12 QP * www.qualityprogress.com common parts. The thought is that OEMs can achieve http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - July 2015

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Open to Change
Passion Project
Turning on the Light Bulb
What‘s Your Theory?
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Continuing Education and Professional Development Directory
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

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