Infiniti has begun production of its all-new INFINITI Q60 sports coupe at the company’s Tochigi factory in Japan. The Q60 is positioned as a sports coupe that effectively combines powerful performance with a daring design.
Infiniti’s plant in Tochigi has been making Infiniti vehicles since Nissan launched Infiniti as its luxury brand in 1989. Production of the Infiniti Q60 marks a new chapter in the history of the factory. In order to meet the technical requirements for production of the new model, several upgrades have been made to the production line, and innovative new manufacturing processes have been introduced.
Upgrades to production lines
The Infiniti Q60 has sharp angles and body lines for which the company made significant changes in the manufacturing processes and the assembly line. These included new tooling machinery for fabricating the model’s resin trunk lid, technology for deep-body stamping, a new lighting system to facilitate the inspection process and a camera and video system for the assembly line. The engineering, manufacturing and design teams collaborated closely to make the concept of the unique trunk lid of the Q60 a reality. This trunk is the first one in the world to feature a hybrid combination of a steel frame and a resin skin. It serves as a framework that the Infiniti design team can use to design shapes that can be built in a single part.
Dedicated paint booth for “Dynamic Sandstone Red”
Another significant development was the establishment of a new dedicated paint booth at the Tochigi facility for producing the Q60’s new “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint finish. This glossy, deep red finish calls for a new method of painting that involves both machinery and manual processes, which was developed by INFINITI’s most senior coating experts. AT the new pain booth, workers can use the equipment to have a greater degree of control over the paint thickness and quality. The newly-developed “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint process is the result of testing several hundred variations of paint formulations and application methods.
Takumi and Kaizen
Infiniti selected 216 highly-skilled Takumi (master craftsmen) from the 4,500 employees at the Tochigi factory to work on the Infiniti production line. These craftsmen not only have a high level of technical knowledge, but they have also been specially trained in the manufacture of premium vehicles and have deep understanding of the Infiniti brand and its core values. True to the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen or continuous improvement, the Takumi regularly undergo intensive training to learn new techniques and skills. They work across every section of the Q60’s production line, including stamping, paint, body shop, assembly and quality assurance.
From the Takumi who have been chosen to work on INFINITI production, a further 6 Meister Takumi who are the best of the select few. These Meister Takumi oversee every aspect of Infiniti production at Tochigi, and ensure that every Infiniti that is produced at the plant is fully attuned with the unique blend of attributes that differentiate INFINITI’s products.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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