Balshaw’s Church of England High School

Business Studies Trip

11 February 2019

On the 5th of February Balshaw’s GCSE Business students went on an excellent trip to Jaguar Land Rover Halewood. Starting with a safety demonstration by the tours team, the group of Year 10 and 11 students experienced a full tour of the factory with them covering the Press shop, Body-in-White, Build and Trim and Final Stage.

The Press Shop was an amazing experience which was accompanied with a full explanation of the forming process for each part of the Land Rover they make at Halewood. The process includes the parts being expertly moulded over five distinct processes that make up each individual part of a Land Rover. The specific part that students where shown the production cycle for was the lower A frame a part placed in the front of the cars aluminium frame. To protect students, during their trip in the Print Shop, Jaguar/Land Rover supplied superb safety gear in the form of a high-vis vest and earplugs and each student was loaned a pair of safety glasses for use in the Trim & Final stage area.

The Body-In-White area was not available for viewing by the students due to potential contamination issues, however, they were shown the painting process by a useful display that outlined the sections of painting in an exemplary manner. A primer, followed by an electro-bath then another primer, followed by UV protective coating in order to preserve the colour and paintwork of the vehicle finally the car is covered in a waxy coat to protect it from light scratches.

Trim and Final Line that stretched two and a half miles was and exemplary piece of British engineering with 80% of their cars from the Halewood site being exported overseas!  The distinctive Land Rover’s interior was bespoke, as per the customer’s request, and skilfully fitted by both robotic arms and employees. One member of the tour service (a retired employee) who started working in the factory in 1971, remarked that “When I started here I never would have thought that a dashboard could be fitted by a robot”. Upon reaching the penultimate area, where a Land Rover is churned off the production line every 82 seconds, we were shown how the cars are test driven and are put through many quality control tests. It was also at this point when the staff also explained to the students the importance of, Right-First-Time, Just-In-Time and Lean Working, and showing how important these key business terms are to how a modern manufacturing facility operates.

Finally students were given a chance to test their own production skills by competing in a simulated production line challenge. Where the winners of the challenge with a 9.5/10 in every field where the Frisky Farmers!

Any enjoyable day was had by all – thank you Jaguar Land Rover for allowing us to visit your factory!

By Tom Swarbrick, Year 11