Changan: Adopting global standards for future growth
Ian Tudor is Product Development Lifecycle and Project Management Process Developer at Changan Automobile Group. He describes the importance of implementing standards to help growth in the global marketplace.
Changan Automobile Group can trace its corporate origins way back to the 1860s. Today it has an increasingly international footprint, with dedicated research centres in China, Italy, Japan, UK and USA. The company has also invested heavily in the research and development of new energy vehicles, focusing on technology development for conventional and hybrid vehicles.
The UK satellite office in which I work is dedicated to powertrain design and development for Changan's next generation of vehicles. We work with standards every day, and provide guidance and support for the ongoing integration of global standards within the wider organization. We are on a mission to design and develop high-quality, high-performance powertrains to support Changan’s global requirements and future growth plans.
The majority of Changan’s traditional automotive sales volumes have come from the domestic Chinese market, but to continue to expand into wider international markets, existing national and regional standards need to be reconciled with those used on the global stage.
Much of the research and design work within my team focuses on well-documented and recognized processes to maintain the quality of our output. Standards also have a part to play throughout health and safety, quality management, material and component-design activities.
Standards are important to our business. For instance, we refer to standards such as ISO 9001 when our engineers are researching material and gear requirements. Accessing the information we need for these activities through the Standards Online (BSOL) library makes life much easier for our engineering teams across the globe. It also ensures we are referencing the latest revision of every standard. Our subscription allows access by multiple users at any time in any country, eliminates paper copies and provides helpful search functionality.
The role that our UK office plays in the global organization is one of advanced research, mentoring and guidance for on-going powertrain strategy. We have a technical focus, but it is not just our engineers who frequently refer to standards. Managers also gain useful insight into quality requirements via the database.
The widespread use of standards across our organization also brings cost savings for the business. The ultimate quality of the final product is influenced, which has implications for sales figures as well as organizational reputation. I’m confident that substantial savings are realized across our business as a whole through the routine use of standards.
Looking ahead, we expect to see increasing attention to standards which regulate the nature of software control in vehicles across the industry. Cars are becoming more connected with the internet and external infrastructure, while the development of the automated driverless vehicle technology continues at pace. As well as having implications for research and design teams, there are many more for those who discuss, agree and revise global standards, not to mention legislators.
The overall uptake and adoption of global standards within Changan has been extremely promising and has been gaining momentum for some time. BSOL covers a good proportion of our global standards requirements, and will continue to improve the quality and safety for all our products.