Updated on June 30, 2022 with on-demand video.

Connected technologies are unlocking a new era of digital production, with better planning capabilities, greater flexibility and focus on improving quality and reducing errors. Automotive manufacturers are investing in greater connectivity of equipment, facilities and production schedules, with the aim to gain more control, visibility and predictability across the complex ecosystems in which they operate.

In this AMS livestream, Ford’s Balakrishnan Adhi, who leads MP&L plant operations for the company’s International Group, shares insights on how manufacturers are increasingly gaining a competitive edge by analysing data at the edge and in the cloud to improve product quality, operations and implement predictive maintenance, for example. Alexander Neb, an automation specialist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), discusses how manufacturers can use AI to automate processes such as assembly planning, which is typically done manually. Slides from these expert speakers are available for download.

Learn more about how manufacturers are using connected technologies to advance their digital maturity by analysing data and optimising production, whether it’s a machine on the assembly line, materials, or the workforce operating the plant. The connectivity and digital transformation of automotive manufacturing methods are creating new opportunities in automation, robotics, machine learning and software solutions.

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Dr. Balakrishnan Adhi
Vice-President of MP&L Plant Operations, Material Flow and Packaging Engineering, International Markets Group
Ford Motor Company

Balakrishnan (Bala) has been working at Ford for 20 years. Based in Chennai, his areas of expertise include material planning and logistics operations such as supply chain and logistics, inventory management, material flow, order to delivery, prototype parts procurement, product creation and change management, as well as new product launches. Prior to his current role, he was working in Changan Ford (CAF) as MP&L deputy director for eight manufacturing sites in China. Bala is currently responsible for material flow engineering, packaging engineering and plant group MP&L operations for the vehicles manufactured by Ford in India, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. Prior to joining Ford, he held positions in production planning and control, strategic sourcing, and ERP implementation/support, primarily in the manufacturing sector. His PhD dissertation is about influence of engineering changes on supply chain management and new model launches.

Alexander Neb
Project Manager, Production and Automation Technology
Department of Robots and Assistive Systems
Fraunhofer IPA (Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation)

Alexander Neb has been a project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) for the last five years. Here he was responsible for the automation of manual assembly lines of various companies. The result is the automation potential analysis, as a standardized work for evaluation of automation processes. In his dissertation he dealt with the analysis and reuse of CAD models for assembly planning.

Since January 2022, he has been CEO of the Fraunhofer spin off “ARCaide Assembly Systems”, the first AI-supported assembly planning software. With the help of the novel technology, it is possible for the first time to create assembly plans and documentation in the shortest possible time without expert knowledge.


Christopher Ludwig
Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, Ultima Media

Christopher Ludwig is responsible for content and editorial strategy across Ultima Media’s global automotive media platforms, including Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, Automotive Logistics, Car Design News and its business intelligence unit, Automotive from Ultima Media. He’s covered the automotive industry, manufacturing and supply chain for 15 years and has nearly 20 years’ experience in the media and publishing business. He has an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Check out more upcoming and on-demand AMS livestreams and events


AMS Summit watch on-demand

This AMS Automotive Evolution Livestream is a video series of panels and interviews covering major manufacturing topics throughout the year. It also features events such as the online AMS Automotive Evolution Summit, a three-day online event that delved deep into automotive manufacturing transformation across digitalisation, electrification and sustainability, featuring manufacturing leaders from BMW, Volvo Cars, Tata, ZF, Gestamp and many more. A live version of the event will be held in Munich later this year.


Watch sessions on-demand from AMS Automotive Evolution

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