Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche issue recalls for fuel leaks
VW, Audi and Porsche have recalled over 80,000 vehicles due to potential fuel leaks. The recalls cover the Audi A6 and Volkswagen Touareg hybrid from 2012, the Audi A7 from 2012 and 2013, and the Audi Q7, S4 and S5 from 2011 through 2012. All the vehicles have 3-liter V-6 engines, according to documents posted Tuesday by U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The documents also show a separate recall from Porsche covering the Cayenne and Panamera S hybrids from 2011 to 2012 for a similar problem.
Volkswagen, which owns all three brands, says vibration during driving, and production issues can cause small leaks in rare cases. VW and Audi said they were not aware of any fires or injuries caused by the problem in the U.S.
An Audi spokesman in the U.S. says about 80,000 vehicles are being recalled worldwide, two-thirds of which are in the U.S. and China.
The problem was discovered in March 2013 when customers complained of fuel odor, according to the NHTSA documents. VW investigated and decided to recall the vehicles in January 2015. VW will notify owners in March and dealers will replace the fuel injector rails and seals for free.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.