New technology improves BMW quality control checks

New technology improves BMW quality control checks

In the never-ending quest to maintain the quality of each pre-series vehicle, the BMW Group uses a sequence of checks for the production series that follows. At the German luxury car manufacturer's plant in the US, this checking system now uses Google Glass to discover whether the technology used will improve accuracy, quality and efficiency in the process of manufacturing its vehicles.

Google Glass allows workers to take videos and photographs as a way of documenting possible variations and gives a much clearer and faster way to both analyse and correct at a later stage. At the current time the company is looking at how it can move this groundbreaking pilot project forward to other areas of its production process and factories.

The pilot scheme, which is being run at BMW Spartanburg, aims to increase the communication between quality control testers at the company's analysis centre for the pre-series production and the development engineers.

The smart glasses enable staff to make their reports more accurate with the addition of videos and pictures. The camera used has three distinct settings: pictures, video recording and background video. For background videos the camera is turned on permanently and images can be transferred for storage very quickly by just pressing a button. This is especially useful to examine malfunctions that previously would have been difficult to reproduce clearly.

Project coordinator Dr Jorg Schulte said: "During the term of the pilot project, we are planning to add a video call feature so that a problem can be discussed with the responsible development areas right there and then."