Here’s How The Women At Tata’s Pimpri Factory Make Over 200 Tata Harrier & Safari SUVs In A Single Day
In an industry which is vastly male dominated, Tata has employed over 1,500 women workers for the production of Harrier and Safari
The Harrier and Safari are built on the same assembly line.
The manufacturing process of Harrier and Safari is 90 per cent automated.
It takes a single body-in-white (BIW) around three hours to get all the trim fitments.
Ergonomic changes are made to the assembly line of the Omega factory (TCF shop) to facilitate ease of working for women.
We recently had the opportunity to visit Tata's Pimpri production plant in Pune, where the carmaker took us behind the scenes and showed how these vehicles are manufactured.
What we got to see
We visited two shops during our tour: the body shop, where body-in-whites (BIWs) are built, and the TCF shop (transmission, chassis, and final), also known as the OMEGA factory. The name comes from the Omega platform underpinning the two SUVs, and that’s why they are built on the same assembly lines. The TCF shop is also where bits like the interior, doors, glasses, and other electronics, are fitted onto a body.
The Body Shop
As the name suggests, this is where various parts of the body made through die casting and pressing processes are assembled together. These include different types of body panels, footwell and roofline; once combined, they are known as body-in-whites (BIW).
Several welding procedures, including stud welding and tig welding, are used to combine these pieces together. While practically every part is welded by robots, the roof panel is welded on manually by workers. Welding is done on a total of 3,000 spots on these mid-size SUVs.
Though Tata did not allow visitors into the paint facility, that’s where the BIWs go next for final body touch up. Before the colour is applied, the bodies are dipped into a tank containing an anti-corrosion primary coat, which is a vital step in preventing oxidation of the body and keeping the paint intact over time.
Following the application of the primary coat, the bodies are then painted in the various exterior shades that Tata offers with these two SUVs.
The Omega Factory
The TCF shop (split into multiple sub assembly lines) is where the final trim fitting and underbody work is done on the freshly painted bodies. The Omega plant is entirely staffed by skilled women workers. Its layout begins with the Trim 1 assembly line, where important electrical wirings and components such as the dashboard and glass panels are placed onto the shell.
Next, they install the doors before the BIW moves on to the underbody fitments, which includes the front and rear suspension, and the fuel tank. The driveline and powertrain are installed next, and the wheels are the final bits to be fitted on this line.
After being converted into full-body SUVs, they are subjected to wheel alignment and headlight adjustments, acceleration and braking tests on a dyno, final paint inspection, and a shower test. The SUVs are ultimately wheeled out of the TCF shop provided they pass all of the preceding tests.
Changes Done In The Omega Factory For Women
Tata’s Omega factory employs over 1,500 women, while its Pune manufacturing facility has a workforce of more than 2,000 women in total. Tata has made many alterations to its TCF store to better facilitate the women who work there. In light of the average female height of 4'8", ergonomic adjustments were made to the height of the glass manipulator and underbody fitting platform.
Summing It Up
The whole body fitment for a single BIW takes around three hours with 90 per cent of the production being automated. Tata's Pimpri factory is capable of producing over 200 SUVs per day in two shifts. At the current production pace, the waiting period for the Harrier and Safari ranges from one to two months depending on the variant purchased.
The Harrier and Safari were recently updated to offer more premium tech features such as ADAS and a larger infotainment touchscreen. Prices for the Harrier range from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 24.07 lakh, the Safari costs between Rs 15.65 lakh and Rs 25.02 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
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