Home / Auto News / News article: General Motors Develops Lego Based Visual Management Tool - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Mar 26 2012, 5:02 PM

WellStar Health System, a five hospital not-for-profit health system, teamed up with General Motors to create a three-dimensional visualization system to track step-by-step progress on everything from vehicle repairs to patient care…with Legos.

The same childhood building blocks we all adore, are now being used for real-world dilemmas instead of constructing toys (Like the 1966 Corvette Stingray pictured above). GM says the new system could help reduce the time needed to implement a change that would prevent future warranty repairs by 33-percent.

“The automotive and healthcare industries may be different, but we face similar challenges,” said Tim Herrick, GM global vehicle chief engineer for trucks, vans and crossovers. “If a customer visits a dealership service department they expect their car to run better afterward, much like a sick or injured person expects to feel better after going to the hospital. 3-D Visualization helps manage both processes more efficiently.”

Instead of complex computer algorithms or fancy 3-D programs, the Lego-based system is built on GM’s Problem Resolution Tracking System. When a problem arises, a corresponding Lego block goes on a Lego board. The bigger the block, the bigger the problem; while the color designates what are of the vehicle needs fixing. Each Lego block is labeled with a number and date of discovery with the board showing its progress from cause to solution to outcome.

GM isn’t only using this neat system for warranty repair tracking. The American automaker is planning to implement it to track vehicle program engineering changes and program budgets. A digital version has already been developed to deploy worldwide.