The most successful year in GROB's history could not have ended in a better way: on December 12, in Gothenburg/Sweden, GROB received the coveted VQE Award from the Volvo Car Corporation for its "exceptional performance" in the VEA project. It is a distinction that symbolizes not only the past year, but just as much the successful 38-year partnership between Volvo and GROB. Discussing the awards after the ceremony, Christian Grob, the company's General Representative, said: "In these particularly turbulent times, when practically everything at GROB has been turned upside down, in times of above-average sales and growth, we are delighted to receive these awards. They show that our customers reward the quality standards we achieve over the long term. Only through these awards can we demonstrate that quality assurance at GROB is not just a carefully-worded corporate objective, but that QA is firmly embedded in the company and we actually apply its principles to the letter."
A success story with a long tradition
GROB and Volvo: a partnership with a long tradition, which despite turbulent times has grown over the years to form an integral part of both companies. What in the mid-70s began with the delivery of the first transfer lines and other special machines, has culminated with the current VEA project, in yet another high point in the cooperation between the two companies. In the early years of the partnership GROB supplied mainly the former Volvo truck plants in Lindesberg and Köping. The special machines were used to make front axle beams and axle ends, the transfer lines for stub axles, rear axle housings and satellite holders, for basic housings and coupling caps.
In subsequent years, GROB increasingly supplied machining centers, G-modules in many axis configurations and development stages and also assembly cells for cylinder heads. With these machines the workpieces to be produced also changed. Besides transmission housings, cylinder heads and engine blocks, bedplate bearing frames, camshaft bearing caps and crankshafts were also manufactured on GROB machines. At the end of the 1980s, the first transfer lines were supplied to Volvo Skövde for the production of automobile cylinder heads. The current VEA project is also being handled by this Volvo plant.
Success based on many awards
Back in 2005, 2006 and 2007 – when Volvo was part of the Ford group – GROB won the Q1 Award. Way back in 2007, when Jonas Björk of Volvo spoke at the awards ceremony in Mindelheim, he made a point of praising "the many years of high quality standards at GROB". After Ford and Volvo went their separate ways, Volvo decided to continue the tradition of Q1 Supplier awards by presenting the Volvo Cars Quality Excellence Award. This prize is awarded to VCC suppliers, who can meet a wide range of quite different quality requirements. But the prize is more than just recognition of quality and performance. The award criteria are at the same time a yardstick by which all potential suppliers are measured, the goal being continuous quality improvement.
The VQE Award 2012 honored GROB's excellent work in the Volvo Environmental Architecture project, under which G-modules, machining centers, special machines, automation, processes and tools were supplied to the Volvo plant in Skövde for the production of cylinder heads and engine blocks. GROB has also been nominated as a supplier to the Volvo engine plant planned for Zhang Jia Kou in China. The award ceremony in Gothenburg on the magical date of 12/12/12 was a grand occasion and it bodes well for the continuation of the successful partnership between Volvo and GROB.
The VQE Award from Volvo was actually the third award that went to GROB last year. In February 2012 GROB received the General Motors Breakthrough and Innovations Award and six weeks later the Daimler Supplier Award.