Siemens Automotive's Juarez, Chatham and Tilbury facilities have received 1999 Honda Quality Performance Awards in recognition for continuous dedication toward the advancement of quality. Honda Senior Manager of Parts Quality Walter Henderson presented the award to company employees at the Juarez facility during a ceremony held on June 22.

"This achievement is impressive in light of the rapid succession of new product launches and capacity expansion we successfully supported with Honda over the last year," said Stuart Nishi, Siemens Automotive Director - Sales. "Honda is very committed to reducing lead time for new model introductions to quickly meet customer demands. It is an intensive challenge in partnership with Honda to flexibly adapt to the rapid new model and design changes, while keeping pace with Honda's North American production of a million vehicle and engines per year."

Siemens Automotive received the award during Honda's annual Supplier Conference, where 98 North American suppliers were recognized for exceptional performance in the areas of quality, delivery and productivity improvement during the company's fiscal year from April 1, 1999 through March 31, 2000.

"Honda suppliers will play a crucial role to help achieve our goals to become the most efficient and flexible manufacturer in the industry with speed to rapidly execute change," said Larry Jutte, general manager of Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM) Part and Procurement and vice president and general manager of HAM Motorcycle and Powertrain manufacturing operations. "Our suppliers will have to be innovative to gain operation efficiencies, eliminate waste, reduce inventories and shorten lead time for new model introductions."

The award covers the contributions of three separate Siemens Automotive operations and their research and development, quality, production and production launch support teams:

  • Chatham, Ontario Location - Home of Siemens Automotive's worldwide emissions technology expertise, Chatham supplies Honda with electric exhaust gas recirculation valves (EEGRs). EEGRs are a complex emissions component designed to allow appropriate mass flow in the partial load range, while ensuring precise regulation of low exhaust gas recirculation rates. The Siemens EEGR valve was among the technologies used in Honda 1998 Accord engines, making it the first car sold in the United States to meet California's stringent Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard, with one model being the first production automobile certified as an "Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle" (ULEV).

  • Juarez, Mexico Location - Juarez supplies Honda with emissions components and sensors.

  • Tilbury, Ontario Location - Tilbury supplies Honda with air induction components and systems, including air cleaners and resonators.

  • The Siemens locations supporting Honda, like the Juarez facility, meet the customer's increasing manufacturing demands without sacrificing quality by placing a heavy focus on process planning and equipment and product improvements.

  • "We use a variety of process planning tools that help us trouble shoot before production starts. If an issue arises on the production line, we get the operators involved in managing a solution," said Peter Reschke, Siemens Automotive director of operations - Juarez. "Everyday we work to improve the performance of our manufacturing machines and to better the product. We will redesign our manufacturing machines to improve quality and efficiency, making ergonomic modifications for the people that use them. We try and change the machine to better fit our operators, not change the operators to better fit the machine."

    In the 1998/99 fiscal year (ended September 30), Siemens Automotive, which employs a workforce of 27,000 and is globally present at more than 80 locations, increased its business volume by 15 percent to $3.6 billion.

    With approximately $490 million invested in research and development, Siemens Automotive is reinvesting more than 12 percent of its sales, a figure far higher than the international average in this sector. Siemens Automotive is a development partner and supplier of electrical and electronic systems and components for engine management, including gasoline and diesel direct injection, for transmission and chassis controls, car body electronics and passenger safety systems, focusing on the airbag electronics. Further activities encompass electrical distribution systems, driver information as well as electric motor drives and drive systems for electric vehicles.