Porsche AG’s long-term financial prospects depend in large part on the Porsche Supervising Board’s forward-looking multi-year prospective plans and projections into the future.  Conventional fortune tellers beware:  Apparently your unforeseen competition is about to become even fiercer.

What is the Porsche Inno-Space Quality-Control Program?

One such latest example of Porsche’s future-gazing is the Inno-Space Program.  This sgDNA Finance / Corporate News post is definitely not a final analysis of the assumed-but-not-guaranteed success of the Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program.

On the contrary, at this early stage in the game as in life, we can only see the immediate here and now.  And, yet, the Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program could be a wonderful vision into the global future of Porsche AG’s universe.

Don’t you want to know what, exactly, the Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program is?  We do.

And whether or not it’s entirely “do-able”?

Let me explain at least the “what” as simply and accessibly as possible.  Inquiring StuttgartDNA minds certainly want to know.

Porsche’s Inno-Space Quality-Control Program Undergoes Testing at the Leipzig Factory

According to Porsche, here’s the skinny:

The critical goal of Porsche AG’s Inno-Space innovation, which just debuted in its testing phases at the plant in Leipzig, is to kick up Porsche’s already stellar quality-management triumphs yet another notch.

The vehicle (pardon the pun) to accomplish this lofty quality assurance / quality control (QA / QC) ambition is the concept of “the look and feel test using augmented reality (AR).”

Huh?

Obviously, some definitions are already in order.

Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program: An example of the Inno-Space tecnology; a tablet is held over a B-pillar window to detect any flaws. Credit: Porsche AG

You Look Marvelous – or Maybe Not So Much:  The Look and Feel Test

The look and feel test involves photographing an isolated production process and storing that video footage in the database documenting the entire production of the Porsche model and variant in question.

The footage is then loaded into any applicable tablet via a newly developed tablet app.  The app also stores the footage and then catalogs it.

The app can then – in theory – identify any and all flaws that inherently deviate from the predetermined perfect production execution of the task at hand.

This process, in turn, enriches the quality of QC (quality control) itself – and saves considerable time (which ultimately translates into saving more M-O-N-E-Y).

Developing Inno-Space to Optimize Porsche QA / QC

By the end of 2018, this process is scheduled to be integrated into Porsche’s production-line assembly processes.

The objective is to develop this innovative Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program starting from the aforementioned testing stages.  That development entails transitioning and dovetailing the QA / QC program into and with the actual production phases on the Porsche multi-model assembly lines for the ultimate in quality assurance / quality control.

The plan is to establish a dedicated factory Information Technology (IT) simulated environment.  In turn, this matrix-like environment, if you will, can then be connected to any Porsche plant.

The goal?  Seamlessly integrating new quality-management innovations into production that ultimately – and sustainably – deliver the optimal end-user experience.  Superlative quality assurance / quality control is highly coveted as the means to the end of creating nothing but very happy campers out of most if not all new Porsche owners.

And achieving all of this, hopefully, with the least expenditure of time, effort and investment, of course.

Admirable aspirations.

Transforming the Inno-Space Dream into “Reality”

However, this ambitious paradigm shifts the workflow limelight somewhat dubiously.  Emerging dominant among the responsible factory personnel would be the proposed resident IT (information technology) team.  The IT team would work closely with the newly overshadowed and hence newly subordinated quality-management (aka quality-assurance / quality-control) team.

This high-technology ascendancy seems to be the wave of the future, which may freak you out if you happen to be a Porsche purist.  Does me, to a degree.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though.  Surveys such as those conducted by auto-industry titan J.D. Powers and the rest of the lot have a strong influence in driving these brand-new technologies, apps and procedures.  I guess the ends do indeed justify the means in the cutthroat world of the international automobile marketplace.  But I mean it in a good way.

“In the Inno-Space, we can design and test pioneering concepts for the future without disrupting the plant’s normal processes,” envisions Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG.

The Brave New World of Augmented Reality

Jump-Starting the Future:  Porsche’s Strategic Partnering with External Institutions and Start-ups

Of course, such Silicon Valley-caliber high-technology innovations can’t all be expected to well up exclusively from in-house at Stuttgart, Weissach or Leipzig.  After all, time is of the essence.  Tick-tock, tick-tock.

And when technology is traveling at the speed of, say, a record-shattering 2018 GT2 RS on the Ring’s Nordschleife (6:47.3!!!), collaboration is in order to come up with solutions, like yesterday.  Bringing in extraordinary outside talent does expedite matters.

To this end, Porsche has teamed up with selected universities and high-tech start-ups in the past.  In this case, Porsche is partnering with GTV (Gesellschaft für Technische Visualistik), a start-up out of Dresden, Germany, about 80 miles southeast of the Porsche Leipzig plant.

Namely, Porsche is working with GTV to tap into augmented reality (AR) as a technical platform for QA / QC.


SgDNA Sidebar

What exactly is augmented reality?

According to Wikipedia, augmented reality (AR) “is a direct or indirect live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are ‘augmented’ by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is spatial registered with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.

In this way, Augmented Reality alters one’s current perception of a real-world environment, whereas virtual reality replaces the real-world environment with a simulated one.  Augmented Reality is related to two largely synonymous terms:  mixed reality and computer-mediated reality.”


 

Above I alluded to the “AR look and feel test.”  Let’s further explore the details of that concept as it relates to augmented reality.

The GTV and Fraunhofer Society Collaborative on Augmented Reality

Another ally working with Porsche and GTV on this futuristic innovation is the Fraunhofer Society, headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Teaming up with GTV to further develop AR in this instance, the Fraunhofer Society was tasked with crafting a tablet app that documents the flaws revealed during the look and feel test.  That process superimposes those exact imperfections over an image of the automobile depicting each and every incremental phase of the production process.

Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program: An example of the Inno-Space tecnology; a tablet is held over a B-pillar window to detect any flaws. Credit: Porsche AGHere’s the progression of the look and feel test process:

  • At the start, the unique CAD (computer-aided design) data assigned to the subject vehicle from the fully detailed database is read into the app
  • Then the tablet’s camera is poised over the module or subsection under study
  • That CAD image is superimposed on and over the actual pictured component
  • This “look and feel” juxtaposition almost magically visualizes any and all flaws or deviations on screen instantaneously

Real-World Applications of Augmented Reality and Look and Feel Testing

Moreover, this at-the-moment technology paves the way for collaboration across various networks, as well as across all disciplines.  Testing and verification can be streamed in real time from plant to plant, and, probably more important, to any OEM partners and vendors.

As such, the aforementioned visualized flaws can be uploaded into the factory’s central database and shared worldwide, on a need-to-know basis, of course.

“This feature means that we benefit from numerous advantages that reach well beyond merely the testing process,” says Andreas Schmidt, Head of Quality at the Porsche plant in Leipzig.

Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program: A demonstration of how Inno-Space can be uploaded into the factory’s central database and shared worldwide. Credit: Porsche AGMr. Schmidt is liaison in the implementation of the augmented-reality project between the various start-ups and universities.  He continues:  “The fact that the tablet is networked allows us to do things like quality audits with our suppliers via video conference at short notice.”

But what Porsche hasn’t revealed to us yet is whether or not this emerging technology will or will not be immune to hacking.  I don’t know about you, but to me that streaming thing seems highly vulnerable to industrial and technological espionage, not to mention international intellectual-property grand theft.

Porsche Quality Assurance and Quality Control:  There is No Substitute

Be that as it may, what’re the prospects in the 21st century for this innovative process?

“Top quality is an essential part of our brand identity at Porsche and is expected by our customers,” asserts Frank Moser, Head of Corporate Quality at Porsche.

“The quality that Porsche delivers is the result of hard work driven by scrupulous precision and the passion to create the perfect sports car during all project phases and in all areas,” continues Mr. Moser.  “When it comes to quality, we get to the very heart of every little detail – this is the approach that characterizes the Porsche brand.”

Porsche’s relentless commitment to German excellence and exquisite over engineering ever since the inception of Porsche No. 1 just may still keep the Porsche Supervising Board in business, and continuing to thrive indefinitely, as discussed at the top of this piece.

So as Porsche AG rightly points out, the last 70 years have been witness to Porsche sports-car construction as the gold standard – with close to two thirds of all Porsche automobiles produced still motoring down the road – to the delight of their happy-camper owners.

When it comes to Porsche, there is no substitute for superlative quality management, assurance and control.  Forward-looking programs like the Porsche Inno-Space quality-control program may indeed bankrupt all of those aforementioned conventional fortune tellers – along with any passive and/or not-so-aggressively innovative automobile manufacturers.

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Let me know in the LEAVE A REPLY section below what you think about the goals and chances of success for Porsche’s Inno-Space program.

Also, how do you compare Porsche’s original 1950s goals of making sure there is no substitute for superior quality, in contrast with Porsche AG’s twenty-first century pursuit of that same incomparable quality assurance / quality control?