Speech Recognition-An Application for Quality Assurance in the Automotive Industry 901744
ROVER GROUP is using the latest voice recognition technology in checking finished cars on the production line at the Cowley Plant, in Oxford, England UK. The operation of the inspection process is totally controlled by a “talking” computer, leaving the operator with hands and eyes free to perform quality checks both inside and outside the vehicle, without having to write anything down.
Current quality assurance methods used elsewhere in the motor industry, rely heavily on the time consuming routine of the operator(s) having to consult large packs of data sheets, in order to perform the inspection task, to at least a satisfactory level. The problem of having to undertake the task to a reasonable standard is compounded by the fact that he must cater for a wide range of model derivatives. Any observations made are written down and analysed manually at the end of the shift. This means that there is no real-time solution to the inspection process.
This case study describes an application currently available and documents the benefits Rover Group have derived from integrating the sensory skills of a human with computerised speech technology to ensure high and consistent product quality. The system discussed in this paper, provides computer controlled quality checking, real-time fault reporting and data capture on the production line. The paper concludes with a description of a fully integrated quality management system, which relies on its information source, from the speech devices, based on a cell- control philosophy.