AMS March-April 2014Much as our industry continues to change, so too does AMS. You will have noticed already that we have recently made a few changes to the logo and the general layout of the magazine. The March-April issue sees further development in the news section. To start with, it’s smaller – that’s not because there is less news, but more. You can find all this news in full here on the website, in addition to features, special reports, interviews and blogs.
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The March-April issue covers the big changes currently underway in the industry. Glenn Brooks’ article on the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles highlights the current level of platform/production line sharing, but it’s safe to assume that this partnership will see much more dramatic changes being implemented in the future. Both OEMs have serious issues to deal with in terms of production plant investment and utilisation.
Automation in production is another area experiencing change, in particular robotics and control systems. The idea of collaborative robots is starting to become a reality, although as Mike Farish’s article points out there is a long way to go before man and machine are working in perfect harmony side by side on the line. Still, OEMs are looking seriously at this development because they see the potential benefits. Developed in conjunction with the robot suppliers, there are already a number of early stage ‘collaborative’ robot applications in place at the OEMs. The growing sophistication of control systems provides another area of huge potential not just for improving efficiencies but also for how the production process is carried out.
Meanwhile, South East Asia is not a new region to the automotive industry (OEMs are well established there) but as Nick Gibbs' report highlights, the region has the potential to become the next automotive manufacturing powerhouse, changing the global map of the industry.