The Quality and Engineering Centre
The Quality and Engineering Centre (QEC) was specially built for
the development and production of MINI. Engineers and technicians
work in close cooperation with BMW Group's research and innovation
centre in Munich, on the introduction of new models and quality
assurance for production.
The QEC is also responsible for the quality measurement of all processes and operations at the Oxford plant - for current and future production.
State-of-the-art facilities are available at the plant for testing and checking product and production processes. These include a test track with different road surfaces, as well as test rigs for water and climate condition analysis.
There is also an acoustics test rig, where vehicles can be driven on rollers in a sound insulated environment at all speeds while noise analyses are carried out. The hydraulic vibration test rig enables the simulation of chassis and body loads by vibrations of various frequencies and intensities on different test tracks. In the water chamber, up to 50 litres of water per square minute per minute spray onto the MINI from all sides to test vehicles for water ingress. Vehicles are also exposed to temperatures of - 40° to + 80° centigrade and different degrees of air humidity in the climatic test chamber in order to test that everything works perfectly in nearly every conceivable climatic condition.
In 2013, the QEC opened its new acoustic rolling road, which is a totally isolated chamber to test engine, gearbox and vibration sounds and can run a car at speeds of up to 250km per hour.