by Al Sacco

Ford uses ‘industry first’ wearable for QA at assembly plant

Feb 10, 2016
Car TechConsumer ElectronicsWearables

A wearable device that should look oddly familiar to any runner reportedly enables speedier and more effective QA checks at a Ford manufacturing facility.

Today, American automobile maker Ford issued a press release to announce an “industry first” wearable device that works in conjunction with an Android smartphone app to help assembly plant workers in Spain perform “faster and more accurate” quality assurance (QA) checks on vehicles as they’re assembled.

From today’s press release:

“Previously, workers at Ford’s manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain, used a paper-based system that involved walking back and forth more than one kilometer daily to access information on desktop PCs. Now, a new Android app means specification and quality checks can be made on the spot using a wrist-worn Portable Quality Assurance Device — believed to be an industry-first — and the moving assembly line can be stopped immediately as needed.”

However, despite Ford’s claim that the “PQAD” is a first-of-its-kind wearable, it appears to be very similar to those armbands runners and other athletes have been using for years for hands-free access to their phones while they work out. Not exactly cutting edge, Ford, and you have to hope the “innovations” the company is working on at its brand new “Automotive Wearables Experience lab” in Dearborn, Mich., are well … more innovative.