The need for greater flexibility in automotive manufacturing is already influencing investment decisions within OEMs but also has major implications for the supply chain. Automotive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) spoke to Tanja Vainio, Managing Director, Business Line Automotive Tier 1, Robotics and Discrete Automation Business at ABB about the challenges ahead and the available solutions.
The Ford Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan, has been the location for a major innovation in automotive assembly operations, utilising AI to support the use of a robot in a particular automated assembly role. Mike Farish reports
Preparing existing factories for manufacturing electric cars can require comprehensive upgrading of the production operations. Dürr offers some examples from its work with Volkswagen, preparing the Zwickau plant for electric car production
The sportscar maker has made a £100m investment in its UK facilities that will support the production of new models and the expansion of engineering and consultancy services
The manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a revolution, where investment is led by software rather than hardware. That in turn enables a raft of new possibilities in creating the factory of the future, according to experts from Audi, ABB and Cosmo Tech.
The OEM has developed a smart handling system at its Vrchlabí plant for the pick-and-place robots handling forged transmission shafts
As the automotive industry electrifies, manufacturing is changing dramatically and OEMs are using big data to keep pace with that change. Increasingly moving into the world of tech, old quality control processes may no longer suffice since a lot of EV components cannot be reworked like traditional equivalents. Manufacturing has to be ultra-precise like never before.
Flexibility is a key factor in enabling OEMs produce the growing number of electric vehicle variants. Our latest digital edition focuses on how and where OEMs are employing the latest digital technologies in AR, VR and AI to develop networked factories, with shared tooling and data, and cellular production stations. This issue features insights from Honda, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Epic Games and more
In a fast-changing industry, OEM production operations must be highly flexible to remain competitive. ABB discusses how the latest automation systems can support this requirement and the need for a mind-set change in the approach to facility planning
The speed of change in the technology of cars and rapid electrification requires new manufacturing equipment and is making expensive old machines redundant, but exactly where the industry is going next is hard to predict. More flexible manufacturing is the answer.
For the production of the new C-class, Mercedes has taken the opportunity to add flexibility by way of cellular manufacturing in the body shop and with so-called ‘TecLines’ for assembly.
Spanish carmaker Seat has started using two autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) at its plant in Martorell for the picking of parts from its onsite storage warehouses.
Porsche, in collaboration with Tesa SE has developed a new production process to seal the holes in the car body that are required to ensure the complete application of the anti-corrosion coatings
Electric vehicles bring with them high development costs and large expenses for retooling plants. To get around that, OEMs and tier suppliers must work together to develop flexible, modular production systems, according to panellists from ZF and ABB at last week’s AMS Livestream on electrification.
In the first part of our Electrifying Production Livestream series, AMS explores how vehicle electrification is changing major tier-1 suppliers’ manufacturing engineering and design, plant equipment and manufacturing strategies. Featuring experts from automotive suppliers and production specialists including Gestamp and ZF, Henkel and ABB.
The challenges of a transition from ICE to EV production for automotive manufacturers and the implications for assembly plants
As automotive manufacturers make the transition to electric propulsion, the challenges they face from compressed development timescales, ever tightening regulatory limits and technology churn, mean they must adapt very quickly to change. Automotive Manufacturing Solutions spoke to Patrick Matthews, ABB Robotics head of powertrain for their OEM automotive division, on how ABB’s approach can help support OEMs through the transition process while retaining the ability to accommodate changes in production requirements
While cell manufacture is still largely in the realm of specialist producers, more OEMs are now assembling the battery pack inhouse, but this can be a complex task requiring specialist tooling. Nick Holt reports
Robotics have enabled major productivity gains in manufacturing, but as the technology becomes more affordable and labour gets harder to find and more expensive, it could start to play a bigger role in the plant logistics and warehousing, too, helping workers do their jobs more safely and quickly.
ABB explores how condition-based maintenance can keep car plant robots in good working order to increase productivity and minimise downtime
As the automotive industry rapidly electrifies, powertrain suppliers have to adapt, but Illya Verpraet finds out that ZF is on board with the transition, enjoying more freedom in both engineering and manufacturing