Vol. 8, No. 11

November 2006

PQ Systems

Racing to quality with GAGEpack

Quality Quiz: With a video!

MSA with Jackie Graham

Data in everyday life

Bytes and pieces

FYI: Current releases


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Racing to quality
Prodrive uses GAGEpack to assure product quality

From the race track to the battlefield, Prodrive aspires to help manufacturers all over the world create vehicles that people want. That’s a tall order, with literally hundreds of millions of vehicles on roads around the world, but Prodrive is among the world’s leading motorsport and automotive technology businesses, and GAGEpack is helping the company prove that it’s up to the challenge.

With operations in the United Kingdom, U.S., Germany, Thailand, and Australia, Prodrive employs more than 1,000 to design and deliver OEM-approved product enhancements that range from visual styling cues and performance upgrades, to vehicle re-engineering and manufacturing required for approval in new markets. From its original emphasis on motorsports, Prodrive has worked closely with vehicle manufacturers around the world to enhance passenger cars and other vehicles, including an armoured Range Rover with bullet-proof glass and an armoured bodyshell.

To maintain the quality of its products and processes, Prodrive uses about 2,500 gages in its operation. GAGEpack keeps track of this collection, facilitating the check-in, check-out process as well as calibration reports and MSA studies. GAGEpack users at separate sites are linked to a database via a designated server. "Group check-in and check-out is a GAGEpack feature that is absolutely essential to us, since it saves both time and manpower," according to quality manager Philip Gilbert. Group check-in, check-out, and calibration are among new features in GAGEpack 7.0. They allow users to combine gages into one group and easily perform block operations.

Prodrive's auto racing credentials are impressive; its cars have won six World Rally titles with Subaru; five British Touring Car Championships with BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Ford; and the GTS class at Le Mans with a Ferrari. The company runs the Subaru World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship, Aston Martin Racing in world sports car series; and Ford Performance Racing in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. They have been confirmed as an entrant for the 2008 Formula One World Championship.

Because the company's original focus was on motorsports, it has a unique culture, according to company chairman David Richards. On the company website, he says that Prodrive's "single-minded focus on winning generates tremendous energy and a relentless desire to seek new ways to achieve ever more ambitious goals."

Energy alone is not enough to assure high quality products, of course. But after a pit-stop to add GAGEpack to its tool kit, the company has moved into the fast lane, producing high quality products to enhance the lives of drivers around the world-on the race track and at the shopping mall.

Copyright 2006 PQ Systems.
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