Manufacturing turns into weak, inexperienced and sensible

Lectures at the Automotive Production Conference 2022 show that the key to future production lies in digitization. (Photo: facesbyfrank)

The auto industry is currently experiencing various crises: in addition to the shift to sustainable vehicles and processes, supply chains in particular have come under pressure from the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus lockdowns in China, and the persistent shortage of chips. in car lectures The 2022 Production Conference quickly made it clear: Existing challenges can only be resolved through sustainable and agile processes. The key to this clearly lies in the digitization of production and logistics.

Porsche: Process improvement is central

Albrecht Reimold made it clear at the beginning of the event that digitization should not become an end in itself. “Process improvement is the most important component”, explains the production manager at Porsche regarding the smart plant. It is only when the processes are logically defined that there is a basis for the optimal use of digital tools. It is necessary to create unified data aggregators, reduce interfaces and provide scalable solutions in the company in order to respond faster to developments in the world of technology and the requirements of new customers. According to Reimold, it is important to think holistically across the board rather than mastering isolated solutions.

In order to implement start-ups as quickly as possible and to be able to control their production as quickly as possible, Porsche, like other existing manufacturers, relies on digital twins of systems and products as well as simulations based on these models. One can hardly do without the corresponding flexibility, especially against the background of the triumph of electric cars. We have a triad of leadership concepts.says Reimold in relation to the BEV and PHEV, but also the combustion engine, which Porsche wants to develop and make more sustainable with the help of e-fuels.

Mercedes-Benz: on its way to green production

In the meantime, Mercedes wants to go fully electric by the end of the decade and redesign the production network accordingly. The focus is on sustainability Among the compounds are also environmentally friendly production, explains production manager Jörg Pozer. Among other things, by 2030, the company’s energy requirements will be covered from renewable sources, to a large part by self-generated electricity, which must come from solar or wind systems, for example.

The platform is the heart of the smart factory at the Stuttgart factory MO360, which will digitize all production processes based on standardized data sets and enable data-driven decisions. In order to make employees fit not only for electric mobility but also for digitization, Mercedes-Benz depends above all on the skills of its employees. According to Burzer, outside assistants are often not close enough to their company’s specific requirements, especially when it comes to digitizing production steps. “Transformation also includes qualification”According to the Mercedes manager.

Audi: Employees become part of the smart factory

Audi is also taking a similar path, explains Andreas Leahy, head of strategic planning. The basis of the qualification programs at the Volkswagen subsidiary is, among other things, the registration of personnel profiles and their grouping according to skill areas. The first pilot projects to prepare the workforce for the new requirements have already yielded promising results. Like Albrecht Reimold, Andreas Lehe also attaches great importance to the coordination process: among other things, it is necessary to bring different departments together on the basis of shared data.

“We can no longer think of production and logistics as separate from each other.”Martin Roskowski, CEO of SmartFactory Kaiserslautern, agrees. in the frame From the association, the scientist calls for standardization of systems and greater interoperability based on job-defined, encapsulated solutions and standardized interfaces. This makes it possible to move from supply chains to value-creating networks, Roskowski emphasizes.

Role: The paint workshop will be green and smart

Dürr’s CEO, Jochen Werauch, describes a similarly modular and flexible approach to the paint shop. The plant manufacturer now relies primarily on scalable modules rather than monolithic systems and is improving them in terms of their sustainability. For example, overspray-free coating solutions or new exhaust air cleaning systems have made it possible to achieve pollutant reductions in the double-digit percentage range. At the same time, Dor’s philosophy reflects the speakers’ general approach to using digital technologies to increase the sustainability of their processes and systems. “We want to detect errors in the processes as soon as possible in order to avoid wasting materials and waste”Wirauch explains. For this purpose, the company mainly relies on the sensor technology of its devices.

BMW: iFactory shapes the future

Emission avoidance also plays a role in iFactoryBMW’s approach plays a major role. By 2030, the Munich-based carmaker wants to reduce pollutant emissions by 80 percent compared to 2019, and the new Debrecen plant must operate entirely without fossil fuels. By the end of the decade, the company also wants to achieve 50 percent of its e-vehicle sales, explains Armin Ebner, head of production systems, digitization and operational excellence.

The company’s approach to design for recycling also makes an important contribution to sustainability and the establishment of circular economy systems. Only by properly sorting the aluminum components can recycling through the material mixtures be prevented and 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide could be saved each year, according to Ebner. For the model future generations, the goal is not only to set standards for sustainability but also to digitize production. “The new category gives us the opportunity to completely rethink production,” Ebner explains. With the most efficient digital planning and standardization up to process technology, the goal is to implement startups and operations more flexibly and quickly in the future.

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