Honda Atlas Cars Limited is a joint venture between Honda Motor Company Japan and the Atlas Group of Companies, Pakistan. Honda was established in 1994 in Pakistan. Their head office is in Manga Mandi and their marketing department is in Defence Lahore. It’s a business-to-business organization. Honda Atlas has been a pioneer in introducing several technologies for the first time in Pakistan such as PGMF-1(Programmed fuel injection), VTEC (Variable Value Timing and lift electronic control, Automatic transmission, Crystal lights, Oriel(Roof with both tilt and slide functions), Four wheel Disk Brakes and ABS Brakes(Anti-lock braking system).
They make 80 cars per shift. Currently they are offering 8 different models of Honda CIVIC and CITY in a wide range of colors with unique technological features. Over all 10% of the system is computerized while the rest of the 90% of the work is done manually. The information, based on their research, provided by the marketing department serves as the input for Honda. The production department processes the demand with the help of the parts and produces cars as an output.
Information System in the Production Department
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PLC- Program Logic Control system is a system where the robots wield the parts in the main jig. It is completely computerized and there is a separate jig for Civic and City. Electro Deposition is a computer controlled process in which the Chasis is taken to a paint deposition in which it is dipped for four minutes. In this time, the paint reaches each and every part which results in protection from rust in the future. Later it is kept in the oven for baking. HVAC- Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning is a recent system which is controlled by computers.
It checks the air conditioner against pressure and different temperatures. The automatic system has resulted in fewer complaints from customers. Bearing is a part which is placed between the crank shaft. The size of the bearing differs and its accuracy is very important. Each bearing has a code on it which needs to be fed on the computer which in return instructs the labor about the accuracy of the bearing and how it needs to be installed. The wheel and headlight alignment is also computerized. The computer instructs the labor about the appropriate positioning of the two parts.
This reduces the chances of mistakes that can take place by humans. LET- Line End Tester is the final check by the computer. A laborer drives the final car and a LET is attached to the switch. All the info of the car is checked as the software is installed in the device. Any problem detected is sent out to the production department system for checking.
Hardware and Software
It is a physical component which is tangible and can be touched. Different hardwares being used at Honda: AS/400 - AS/400 is the name for the previously known "IBM iSeries".
It is a midrange server designed for small businesses and departments in large enterprises. It has huge disk storage ranging as much as upto multi-terabytes which can easily store big data. The AS/400 is intended to be turned into an all-purpose server which can replace PC servers and Web servers around the world's businesses. Honda is utilizing AS/400 for several tasks. All application are developed and run on this system. RPG II and COBOL are the languages which are used to make applications particularly designed for the company.
Along with this system, there are approximately 300 individual pc’s being used by the employees. Moreover, there are about 12-14 servers in Honda production plant situated near Maanga Mandi. A few examples of the servers include backup servers, mail servers, gateway servers, proxy servers. System/34 - abbreviated as S/34 is a minicomputer marketed by IBM. It was a multi-tasking computer which could be used by many at the same time and was a successor to the single-user System/32. The System/34 was mainly programmed in the RPG II (programming) language.
This system ran smoothly on 64K of memory. Honda had previously implemented S/34 which was replaced by AS/400, which has proven to be more efficient and latest. DB2 - It is a one of relational database management system (RDBMS) products from IBM that are used for various operating system platforms. DB2 is excelling in terms of database market share and performance. DB2 offers the industry great performance, efficiency, scale and reliability. Honda makes use of DB2 in such a way that it stores the company’s data – data ranging from customer records to sale records and other orders. Moreover, Honda is also making use of LTEO4 and data storage tapes for storing data. Plus, personal, individuals computers are also there to help share the burden.
When Honda started operating in Pakistan in 1994, the systems were not too much secured back then. A virus attack was launched on the company but fortunately it did not harm much. Since then, the computer systems’ security has been increased, which will be covered later in detail. The aforementioned details explain that AS/400 has its own disk storage and DB2 also is used to store data.
In addition to that, magnetic tapes and data storages tapes are also being used at Honda. Software: It provides set of instructions that controls a computer system. It is intangible and can not be touched with hand. Different softwares being used at Honda CRM: CRM is also being used at Honda, to maintain Customer Relation Management, though, it is not fully operated yet.
- MIS: It is being used at Honda for keeping walk-in records, customer record and for creating reports. It’s a pre-sale software.
- Donet: It is a software that deals with after-sale records. It’s a post-sale software.
- Microsoft Excel: MS Excel is another software being used at Honda. Attendance record at the head office which is located in Y-block makes use of Excel sheets.
A network is a collection of computers and devices connected by communications channels that facilitates communications amongst users and allows them to share and distribute resources with other users. They are various types of networks:
- Internet: It is a system of interconnected computer networks which are globally connected. It carries a wide array of information and resources which is accessible to different sorts of users. Honda is making use of the internet by creating their website where the customers can post their complaints by putting in the frame number of their vehicle.. It links the customers and the production unit, and the latter further contacts sellers. Also, Honda production plant is connected to its dealers and the head office through regular e-mails. Honda also has a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which provides a secure connection between two points and data can be transmitted. It minimizes cost by providing a low-cost organization
- Intranet: It a private type of communication network and is used within an organization. Only the people within that organization can access it and hence it provides easy access to internal websites, and other resources and applications. Honda has its own intranet to communicate with the employees within the organization, with its production plant for instance.
- Extranet: It a type of network which is used to connect selected resources of a company to the people who are not within the company, for instance extranets maybe used to link a company with its suppliers, customers and other business partners.
Honda also has an extranet that connects it with its suppliers, dealership and customers. As Honda is associated with Japan, they need it to connect to the company heads over there. The company heads in Japan keep a check and also send annual plans through it.
Firewall and Antivirus
It is a special security software used to block unwanted access to a private network, devices or computer systems. It keeps the unwanted and unauthorized traffic away. Honda is using AS/400 which has its own firewall whereas the employees have their personal computer secured by different firewalls like the operating system’s default firewalls and sygate firewall etc.
It is a protective software built to protect computer systems from malicious and potentially dangerous softwares, viruses, malwares etc. that can along with tampering with the content can also steal data from a pc. Honda has Kaspersky Enterprise version installed on the central server, which protects its systems from the above mentioned potential hazards.
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