SEAT sharpens employees’ senses

SEAT has established a Sensory Training Centre to help employees in its quality department hone their senses.

The special training course to boost sight, hearing, touch and smell has been adopted at its Barcelona headquarters to support the specialists responsible for the final inspection of vehicles before they leave the factory.

Despite the rise of automation and robotics across the industry, the human touch is deemed essential to maximising quality. Employees who visit The Sensory Training Centre undertake practical exercises and training to refine their perception ability.

‘It’s smooth and round. I’d say it’s a ball’, said one of the participants as she conducts a touch test while blindfolded. Opposite her is Álvaro Niño, the lead teacher of the course at the Quality Training Centre. The goal is to perfect their perception abilities ‘so they can learn how to use them when they inspect the quality of the vehicles” throughout the manufacturing process’, explained Álvaro.

The training consists in practical exercises such as smell tests. The students must identify whether the smell of the leather or plastic is suitable. They are also asked to identify smells of daily life, for example, of aromatic herbs such as lavender. When it comes to hearing tests, the participants have to detect possible discordant sounds in a simulator.

‘Detail-oriented, observant, perfectionist and precise’ are the traits that characterise these experts, according to the teacher. Following their training they can detect ‘deviations of one millimetre or slight colour variations that are difficult to perceive at first sight’, confirmed Álvaro.

Around 260 employees will be attending this course, including new as well as current personnel, who will update their knowledge every two years.