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Quality improvements with focus on leather characteristics
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

I.M.Kelly Automotive Limited is a small automotive company based in the center of the quality leather industry in Northamptonshire, England. The company crafts upholstered steering wheels, gear knobs, handbrake grips, gaiters, centre consoles and door panels, in fact everything that requires the soft natural touch of genuine leather. Leather is a natural product and each hide is of individual character. Even though this is what makes the finished leather product unique, the irregularity of natural leather characteristics causes problems when it comes to quality control. Rejects due to leather faults has recently increased at I.M. Kelly Automotive Ltd and this needs to be investigated. The Objective with this thesis is to reduce the number of rejects and to improve the present situation when it comes to quality. To be able to reach the objective of this project a thorough investigation of the present situation at I.M.Kelly Automotive Ltd. was necessary. Interviews with the staff was carried out at every work-station, the work flow was filmed and timed to understand the ad-on-cost for every step of the process. Most important was to learn about the actual material we had to deal with, to understand leather and its natural characteristics. The result of this study was a few recommendations, such as not pay per piece and not use the heat-gun too much etc. but most effectively, to check the leather pieces for leather characteristics before skiving and sewing. This would save a great deal of money for the company. Apart from studying the internal process, an external investigation towards supplier and customers was carried out through visits and negotiating at meetings, via mail and phone. The work with the suppliers lead to a Hide Master to be able to control the incoming quality of hides to I.M.Kelly Automotive Ltd and also that the suppliers had to mark their hides with the correct type of quality. The work with the customers lead to an agreed document, a Leather Master, in which the size, shape and quantity of natural characteristics was specified. Also a sign-off for every type of character at a finished leather trim product was mutual agreed between IMKA Ltd and their customer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Quality, Leather, Kvalitet, Läder
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-49402ISRN: LTU-EX--06/231--SELocal ID: 6be0ab02-4aca-4c16-8318-01180c442929OAI: diva2:1022749
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Ergonomic Design & Production Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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