Tel; 07502 941332
DRIVING ROAD SAFETY
We are a registered charity (No; 1006658) affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (the IAM). Our non-profit making organisation, based in Oldham is dedicated to improving the standard of driving safety in and around the surounding area.
Reduced insurance costs.
Reduce the risk of an accident by 70%.
Improve your fuel consumption.
Reduce wear and tear on your vehicle.
Reduce the stress of driving.
Improve your observation
Improve your driving confidence
Local Observer Qualifications were presented at the West Pennine Group's 2018 AGM by
2018 Allan Thorne Award
Kath Thorne was unable to attend this years AGM, but she did send the following message.
Good evening everyone, I am so sorry I cannot be with you tonight.
This years winner of the Allan Thorne Award for services to the
West Pennine Group
can be classed as a stalwart of the group, who has been an active member for over 40 years. Being present nearly every Sunday morning throughout those 40 years amounts to an amazing 2000 appearances, and always happy and chearful, is just incredible !
On top of this, is all the time and effort generously given to managing the regalia and being a Trustee of the group.
We also hear that the winner is a star baker of Mince pies and keeps control of the chocolates !
As the very first winner of Allan's award, we are delighted to award it again to,
Many CONGRATULATIONS Norma.
The West Pennine Group organised a visit to the JLR plant at Halewood, Merseyside. This was a tour of the manufacturing facility and eight of us went on Thursday, 15th February 2018.
After lunch we were given a briefing by Andy, an ex Police driver with plenty of relevant information on JLR and the manufacturing process. Each of us was provided with a set of headphones as well as covers for any watches, rings etc. that might possibly damage the new vehicles. The headphones eliminated most of the noise as we went round the factory (although I suspect the noise level would not have been a problem), but more particularly they enabled Andy to speak to us through a mini-microphone; this worked very well.
The tour lasted about three hours, entirely within the manufacturing facility and although we walked about one and a half miles, most of it at ground level, I think nobody found it to be onerous. After the tour there were refreshments and also “feedback” to Andy as well as questions and answers.
JLR has a chequered history but since 2008 it has been owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, probably best known for their steel mills and Tetley tea. We were told that since they bought JLR they have invested fifteen billion pounds in the Company and continue to do so. That’s some investment!
JLR have three main plants: Halewood – they produce the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery vehicles and Solihull and West Bromwich who make the Jaguar cars and the other marques of Range and Land Rovers.
Halewood, when in full production, employs around 4,000 people, known as Associates (shades of the I.A.M.) but you wouldn’t know it as there are few Associates to be seen. In addition there are around 500 people at other companies within the JLR complex who provide parts to fit in the Halewood vehicles.
Halewood is a big facility. The Body shop covers the same area as 22 football pitches and the production track is over three and a half miles long. We obviously saw only a part of it! But the first thing you notice as you approach the factory complex is hundreds of new Range Rovers and Discoverys in the parking lot. We were told that JLR do not build for stock: every vehicle is made to order and therefore every vehicle we saw already had a buyer’s name on it.
Halewood, as most car makers nowadays, employ what is now commonly known as the “Toyota System”. This is a process of that allows the manufacture of a vehicle to “flow” from start to finish. “Common sense” you may think, but when it was first introduced it was revolutionary. The process includes the “Just In Time” (J.I.T.) principle; JLR hold very few items as stock – the computerised system informs each department or supplier that a vehicle is soon to be built to a particular specification and the parts are (hopefully) delivered just in time for production.
The first step in the process is the stamping out of the steel panels for the body, doors roof etc. Have in mind that the vehicle has already been ordered so, if a sun roof has been specified, provision has to be made at the start to stamp a hole in the roof panel! Again, there seemed to be few operatives around but of course the massive steel presses are generally computer controlled. Halewood press the panels not only for their own vehicles but all the pressings for the other JLR plants at Solihull and West Bromwich.
A feature of the system, apparently throughout the JLR factories is that the department who ordered the item – for example, the pressed body panel – will “buy” the panel from Halewood Pressing shop. The department will not accept the panels until they have had the opportunity to examine them and, if satisfied “pay” the Pressing shop for them. Andy was keen to stress the checks and balances made by JLR in the search for Total Quality Control and, for example, dedicated Associates are tasked with continually checking that all the equipment is working exactly as is should.
Early in the process each partly built vehicle is given a specific identity. Whilst the specification has been on the computer from the start it is now bar coded and this holds all the information needed to continue building the vehicle as the buyer has specified. This is useful especially, as we were told, the total possible variations across the range exceeds 300,000!
Once the panels are pressed they move to the start of the assembly line. I have to admit that from this point recollection of the manufacturing process is somewhat blurred – so many things happen and at speed.
There are 670 robots throughout the Body shop and a new one will set you back around £100,000. They use 200 rivets per vehicle, 890 million spot welds and 32 million studs are applied each year by the robots.
The doors are fitted and then removed to allow the dashboard to be slid into the cockpit more easily. A type of mastic is applied part way between panels and the frame helping these vehicles wade through water without damage. The engine is dropped into place, by robot of course. During the course of “fitting out” much of the interior and exterior is given protective cover to limit the chance of damage.
The original shell of the vehicle is immersed in a protective paint. Prior to this, the car is subjected to negative and positive electricity. This enables the paint to adhere to the metal more efficiently than would otherwise have been the case. Up to 95% of the paint applied adheres to the metal. This is welcome because JLR use one and a half million litres of paint per year! We did not actually see the vehicles being painted but were told that 54 robots operate within the Paint shop facility and this covers an area of some 45,000 square metres.
Nearing the end of the tour the finished vehicles are lined up, visually inspected and driven from the end of the production line to a point, awaiting exit from the factory. A small percentage of vehicles are taken out of this line and subjected to 40 miles of driving on a variety of rolling roads and test facilities. These random vehicle tests are intended to highlight any faults in the production process and the buyer can be confident that his vehicle is as fault-free as possible.
If you order a JLR vehicle you can pay extra and watch it being built. That would be very interesting but you would need to keep your eyes open: at Halewood they produce around 900 vehicles every day and they say that one vehicle drives off the assembly line every 92 seconds.
An interesting and informative tour. The standard cost is £49 per person but we received a Winter discount of 35% which made it even more interesting!
Geoff Blackburn – West Pennine group
Please note that the Logo's are courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.
The risk of using mobile phones while driving has been very prominent in the media recently, following the tragic quadruple fatality caused by an HGV driver using a phone at the wheel, From this point forward our insurer, IAM Surety, will be unable to offer our exclusive ‘members only’ insurance scheme to any members who obtain points for using a phone while driving. This will be a permanent exclusion. We support this positive step towards making using a mobile phone while driving socially unacceptable.
IAM Surety is the insurance that is available to IAM RoadSmart members.
Have you been considering taking up a course of
The West Pennine Group
How about giving a course as a Birthday or Christmas Present.
This is not just for Christmas,
The cost of a course of Advanced Driving is only £149
so don't waste any more time.
Just use the “contact ” feature of this website, (which you will find at the top of this page) or phone our group contact, Pete Smithies.
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