eight different colours and the combination of either left or right hand drive and, even further down the line, a choice of interior options.
After the body assembly, a robot takes the body to the paint shop where rustproofing, sealing, priming and three top coats of paint are covered with a lacquer to ensure a brilliant finish to the vehicle. This process is also computer controlled and effected without human intervention.
Number 2 Plant
This is the plant assembly line. With the variance of models and the range of colours of vehicles coming down the line, the integrated computer systems throughout the entire assembly line ensures the assembler that the AGVs have, in correct order, the parts that are required for each vehicle, whether it’s the type of stereo system that has to be installed or the colour of the upholstery. It is only at this point of the assembly that there is human intervention. One worker puts the vehicle’s interior in, whilst another two put the motor, transmission, rear axle and differential into the vehicle. Just-in- Time procedures are operating to perfection at this point, as there is no more than 1.5 hours assembly time of wheels and tyres at the production lines.
Number 3 Plant
This plant is the engine, transmission and differential production area. An advanced Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) allows for the production of various types of engines and transmissions. The computer controlled sensor automatically reads out the different patterns of the models to be machined. The FMS then prepares all the tools and jigs required for that particular model and then machines it to the sensor’s specifications. Although Isuzu employees assemble the motors, which are completely built in 9.5 minutes, computers and robots carry out all the quality control testing! Each and every part to be put into the motor is tested for dimensional accuracy and strength. Strenuous crack and product failure testing methods are applied, and even weight tests to the exact grams are performed, with the data stored in the testing computer’s memory file for a period of time.
Number 4 Plant
This plant, the smallest of the four, manufactures the drive mechanisms for the rear wheel drive vehicles that are produced at this plant. Again computer controlled machines tool mill gear to outstanding accuracy in the facility, with the final quality control again being determined by computers.
What Isuzu sees as the most important division, not only at the Fujisawa plant, but for the entire Isuzu Company, is Research and Development. The 1569 people not actually involved in the direct manufacture of the vehicles, the R