As a followup to their visit to the BMW Mini factory in Oxford earlier this term, EF Academy Oxford students continued to explore the British auto scene with a tour of the Jaguar Land Rover Corporate factory.
Lead by Cy Webber, Head of Humanities, the trip gave students first-hand exposure to the inner workings of the plant. They admired the massive metal pressing machinery that forms the 403 separate panels required per vehicle at a rate of 46,000 panels per week in a factory that runs 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This allows for one Land Rover to come off the production line every 87 seconds!
“The tour was really interesting because our guide had worked in the factory for a number of years so the insight was really detailed,” said Julie from Norway, an IB Year two student. “I was particularly impressed by the community feel. The factory has its own doctor, dentist and crèche so the employees feel important and have everything they need, which must make them feel motivated.”
Following the site visit, students took part in taking part in a production game back on campus. Students formed four teams with a task to assemble specific designs of trolleys, checking for quality against the designs given to each team. Students needed to create and organize their production system as they were allocated one minute to complete one model.
The first attempt proved to be challenging with many mistakes and miscommunication. Students realized that each error equated to £17 lost per second, not to mention the delay to the customer’s delivery time and the inherent customer dissatisfaction caused. If the quality issues continued, it would cause serious financial damage to the company.
The students redoubled their efforts and one team went from last to first with zero defects: the power of focus and concentration. All students completed 10 products within 10 minutes.
“The challenge of the game was really enjoyable because you could start to see how you could better prepare yourself for the next product and doing it in so little time but getting it right the first time was really motivating,” said Peifeng from Spain studying A-levels.
The experience from factory to the challenge was a wonderful example of how students improved their productivity and quality with each task as they learned from mistakes, clearly putting theory into practice.