Its not very uncommon (though not common as well) for luxury vehicles like BMW or Porsche to allow their clients to give a small tour of their factory, but guess what happened....
The super budget brand of Indian cars, Tata Nano, chose a few of their customers, to get a factory visit, to see how their brand new car is manufactured. Along with them, as a blogger, I got to visit too (I feel like yelling like Tarzan, beating my chest now!!!)...
So, to begin with, this factory is a history by itself. In 2008, Tata decided to set up its factory in Singur in West Bengal to produce its cheapest ever car! However in Oct 2008, due to some troubles, they had to move out of W.B and in Nov 2008 they started to built this plant at Sanand. Guess what, this very land was a gift by Jamshedpur Tata to the govt, ages ago!!!
This was built in a record time of 14 months in a sprawling 1100 acres plot. The capacity here is to product a nano every 58 secs! A specialty here is power generation from windmills at Kutch which provides 15% of the consumption of this plant. Plans are on to add Solar panels to increase this 15%!! The premises has a fire van and a dispensary within, for the safety of the employees.
There are 5 main sections - Press shop, Weld shop, Paint shop, Engine shop & TCF. At the press shop, steel is cut & pressed into various shapes needed to build the car. 11 types of panels are made here and a few are sourced from other vendors. The speed here is to press 14 pieces a minute using 135+ robots! At the Weld shop, 3 types of robotic welding happens - spot (regular), MIG (metal inert gas, where inert gas combines to pieces) and Stud (tightening of bolts)! There's a continuous robotic checking for errors!!!
Watching them was just spectacular. Before this I had only seen such robotic works only on National Geographic or Discovery channels!!! Getting into a world class factory and seeing them with my own eyes, was mind blowing, quite literally!!! Though I saw them, I can't share it here - its their patented robotics technology!!!!!!
From there the pieces come over to the Paint shop, where they go through 3 layers of painting - primary, secondary and top coat. To prevent any dust, no one is allowed into the paint shop, that includes most of the employees too!!! Next is the Engine shop where the heart of the nano is fitted! A sky bridge connects all these sections through which the cars get transferred.
From there it goes to the TCF (Trims, Chassis & Filament), where all accessories incl. seat, wheels, window glasses, steering wheel etc are attached. Mostly this all is done manually!!!
From this extensive assembly line, the car is ready now! However it still goes through some tests for wind resistance, tire strength etc.
After this is the PDI (Post Dispatch Inspection), where the car is ridden through a road within the premises which simulates various road conditions like water puddles, potholes, speed breakers etc, after which its ready for the customers.
Now, that's exactly how your Tata Nano gets created and delivered to you. With me are the lovely Ms.Supriya and handsome Mr.Manek of Tata Motors who took all time and efforts to explain me everything and answer all my questions, even stupid ones!!!
Coming up soon with another post on more about the event and some proud owners who were #TheChosenOnes who visited the factory to get their brand new #GenXNano!!!
P.S: The first pic is a customized open top Nano. No, they are in no plans to roll it out in mass production, coz of various factors like safety, Indian weather etc... With all that said, isn't that super duper cute???!!!