A team of Sixth Formers visited Benteler Automotive to trial a new system they have developed to speed up part of the quality control process. The company, which manufactures components for Range Rover, Jaguar and Mini cars, carries out quality checks on thousands of welds. Formerly data was recorded manually on a paper form, but now our Sixth Formers have developed a spreadsheet and electronic format that uploads the data automatically.
The students, Conor Lewis, Kiran Joshi, Tho-Quang Nyugen, Molly Beeby and George Robinson, are undertaking the project as part of the Engineering Education Scheme. They have been working on it since September with guidance from company mentors, Frank Trott and Nigel Clarke. This was the first on-site trial of their software.
DT technician Darren Hooper said: ‘The company has supplied them with a tablet and an electronic measuring device. The students have developed an electronic and interactive version of the existing form. They can plug the measuring device into the tablet and the data uploads directly into the form. It speeds the process up and the company is really impressed with it.
‘The aim of the trip to Benteler was to try the software out. The students are going to make some technical tweaks and also devise a better way of transferring the information automatically rather than using a memory card.
‘Benteler have to track data on each weld and component which is why they are very keen to find a way of speeding the process up. Once the Sixth Formers have carried out the latest refinements the quality control department will conduct a further trial run and give feedback.
‘The students have performed really well and have produced a solution with a lot of potential. They understand what is needed by Benteler and could develop their ideas further, for instance by using the cloud to transfer the data. They are using a conversion of Excel and say they can do a lot more if they use a different program or maybe even write their own, but they haven’t got enough coding knowledge to be able to do that yet. The company is very pleased with their improved method and want to get it up and running very soon.’