Audi bids for greater quality with digitalised Virtual Master Jig

Audi's quality assurance team reveals new tech that it hopes will deliver greater quality fit and finish on all future models

Audi has revealed how it plans to improve the perceived build quality of its cars in the near future, with new, technologically advanced quality assurance systems.

At the heart of this is the Virtual Master Jig. It’s a new digitalised jig system currently being assessed by Audi’s quality assurance team at the firm’s headquarters in Ingolstadt.

New Audi A8 2017 review

Alongside the conventional master jigs used by Audi’s technicians to check the accuracy of surfaces and the quality of shut lines, this new system - making use of a giant photometric measuring cell - has been introduced. 

Housed within a space roughly the size of a double garage, two robots capable of twisting and turning on eight axes are armed with 16 megapixel high-resolution optical sensors. These sensors can digitally capture, reproduce and accurately map the surfaces of an A4 sized car in about four hours, compared to the 48-hour digitalisation process of the previous jig system. 

The sensors capture up to 20 million measurement points to map an accurate surface. This compares to the 6,000 points produced by the tactile measurement procedures previously used.

Audi claims that one of the biggest benefits of a sensor system like this is that measurements can be taken without touching the materials, so softer components such as seals and seats can be measured more accurately.

Digitalisation also means that the firm’s quality checkers can begin working much earlier in the development process of a new model. Under previous methods, jobs such as checking shut lines would begin ten months before series production. Now, technicians can begin work on tasks like this around two and a half years before production begins, on the basis of highly accurate 3D models. As such, Audi claims bodywork finish quality will improve on its next-generation cars.

Alongside the Virtual Master Jig, Audi has ‘electrified’ the jig used to mark interior fit and finish too, in order to make it more relevant for increasingly digital cabins. The new electrified interior jig means technicians can evaluate interior quality in greater detail ahead of production, with all electronic interior functions available to test at a much earlier stage in the development process.

Audi says that the new electrified interior jig has been put to use on the next-generation A6 saloon, which the firm says is due in 2018. 

How often do you notice crooked shut lines and misshaped bodywork on new cars? Tell us in the comments below.

Recommended

New Audi Q6 e-tron confirmed for 2022 launch
E-tron
News

New Audi Q6 e-tron confirmed for 2022 launch

All-electric Audi Q6 e-tron SUV will arrive next year and share tech with next-gen Porsche Macan EV
18 Mar 2021
New Audi Sport Nogaro Editions for TT RS, RS 4, RS 5 and RS 6
New Audi Sport Nogaro Edition
Audi

New Audi Sport Nogaro Editions for TT RS, RS 4, RS 5 and RS 6

In a tip of the hat to the iconic RS 2 Avant, Audi has launched a fleet of new special edition RS cars, on sale in UK now
17 Mar 2021
‘Fully-comprehensive’ subscription plan for Audi e-tron electric SUV
Audi e-tron
News

‘Fully-comprehensive’ subscription plan for Audi e-tron electric SUV

New Audi e-tron subscription ownership doesn’t require a deposit and comes with 1,000 miles-worth of free charging
11 Mar 2021
New 2021 Audi e-tron GT arrives to rival Tesla Model S
Audi e-tron GT - white front
Audi

New 2021 Audi e-tron GT arrives to rival Tesla Model S

The all-electric Audi e-tron GT uses the same tech and platform as the Porsche Taycan and will cost from £79,900 when it goes on sale in May
9 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 SEAT Ibiza facelift arrives with styling and tech updates
SEAT Ibiza facelift - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback

New 2021 SEAT Ibiza facelift arrives with styling and tech updates

The SEAT Ibiza supermini has been tweaked for 2021, with a new interior the star of the show
15 Apr 2021
New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021
New SEAT Arona facelift gets rugged looks and a fresh cabin for 2021
SEAT Arona facelift - front
SEAT Arona

New SEAT Arona facelift gets rugged looks and a fresh cabin for 2021

New infotainment technology takes centre stage with the updated SEAT Arona, backed up by a tough new front end
15 Apr 2021