TOKYO: The new Infiniti Q60 sports coupe has begun production in Tochigi, about 100km north of here.
The Tochigi plant has been producing Infiniti vehicles since the brand was launched in 1989. To meet the requirements of the new model, a series of upgrades have been made to the production line.
The stamping and assembly lines feature key improvements, notably through the adoption of a deep-body stamping technology and new tooling machinery for the model’s unique resin trunk lid. To further enhance quality control, a new lighting system for the inspection process and a camera and video system on the assembly line have been introduced.
In a world’s first application, the trunk lid is a hybrid combination of a resin skin on a steel frame, giving designers more freedom to develop shapes that can then be built in a single part.
One major enhancement to the Tochigi facility is a new dedicated paint booth, which has been installed solely to allow production of Q60’s new “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint finish. The glossy, deep red finish requires a new painting set-up, using a combination of machinery and manual processes.
The new paint booth enables workers in the Tochigi paint shop to more finely control paint thickness and quality, and the newly-developed “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint process is the result of testing several hundred variations of paint formulations and application methods.
Tochigi’s 216 Takumi (master craftsmen) were picked from the plant’s 4,500-strong workforce to work on the Infiniti production line. Takumi work across every section of the Q60’s production line, including stamping, body shop, paint, assembly and quality assurance. Six Meister Takumi selected from the pool of Takumi oversee every aspect of production to ensure quality standards are achieved.