Corporate / Design & Technology

Today’s car is not the car of yesterday January 22nd, 2009

By Chil-Young Kwon
Production Management Team
Kia Motors Corporation

Greetings to all Kia Buzz readers and I wish you all the best for the New Year. Until I started working at Kia Motors, I thought many things were a simple process. For example, let’s take the job of placing an improved muffler on a car currently in production. I used to think all that was necessary was taking the improved muffler and installing it in the vehicle. But did you know this seemingly easy job requires much cooperation and effort?

First, R&D personnel have to develop the enhanced muffler. And of course, the new muffler does not operate on its own. This means that numerous related parts and control devices have to be developed as well.

To assemble the developed parts in the factory line, workers have to test whether assembly is possible and consult with workers in charge of the parts. That responsibility lies with the assembly department.

Afterward, there is the issue of timing. Accurate timing is required to simultaneously apply many parts to a specific model. The EPI (Effective Point Information) department determines the time and notifies the relevant departments.

Additionally, assistance from the materials management department is vital applying new parts after appropriately depleting inventory of previously used parts.

Then there’s the need to verify the quality of the car featuring the new muffler. Items to check include whether the muffler fits well into the car, its durability and whether it’s prone to breakdown. That duty falls on the quality control department.

As you can see, new parts are applied for such reasons as quality improvement, cost reduction, and new technology adoption. Up to two or three tasks take place in a day. That is true even at this very moment. That’s why yesterday’s car is not exactly the same as today’s car. Daily improvements in Kia cars are the result of cooperation and effort of many departments.

During the course of cooperation, I believe the most important factor is timing. The point in time at which parts can be assembled concurrently depends on the ability of plant managers. Bringing up that time means faster production of the Kia cars of today.