A crucial element of Lexus quality control is the physical track-testing of each and every vehicle coming off the production line. Part of this test phase is carried out under rough road conditions, a precaution that immediately flags up any noise, vibration and harshness issues.
However, the problem with conducting a road test outdoors is that its consistency can be upset by the weather. To get around this, the Lexus Miyata Plant recently developed and installed a mechanical Rough Road Tester at the end of its climate-controlled assembly line.
The Rough Road Tester is similar to a rolling road, but employs adjustable drums that look more like giant camshafts. Sections of the outer surface of each drum can be raised or indented to mimic various road surfaces found throughout the globe and can even be manipulated to simulate specific driving conditions, such as frozen roads.
With this device installed in such a consistent environment so close to the assembly line, Lexus has tightened its quality control procedures once again. Abnormal sounds can now be detected and then rectified more efficiently than ever before.