IT in Manufacturing


Carmakers look to AI/ML to achieve sustainable manufacturing

May 2022 IT in Manufacturing

Car manufacturers face a range of challenges globally as they strive to move towards sustainable manufacturing. Central to this is ensuring that production processes remain as clean and efficient as possible while maintaining product quality and reducing wastage. Digital transformation is underpinning this as cloud-based technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) play pivotal roles.

Accuracy and timeliness

One area where ML is supporting car manufacturers is in reducing production line interruptions. Automotive industry specialist, Richard Felton, explains that ML systems can help avoid unplanned maintenance by analysing data to improve predictive maintenance schedules. “If you avoid unnecessary maintenance, you reduce costs, increase productivity, and do not have unplanned downtime,” he says. “ML not only handles the sheer scale, breadth and accuracy of the data, but also the timeliness.”

The technology can also help manufacturers navigate current global component shortages. “Manufacturers are using ML to anticipate shortages and how to handle those shortages in components more efficiently,” Felton adds.

Efficient component inspections

Additionally, ML supports component quality inspections using data from camera inspections to check assembly processes and sequences in terms of complexity, speed and accuracy. “The machine learning can spot anomalies that human operators might miss across millions of data points,” he adds.

This digital transformation is supported by companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) which, as a cloud service provider, enables customers to access and manage data, scale globally and make data-driven decisions in real time using AI, ML and other advanced services.

AWS helps with sustainability, digital manufacturing and supply chains, and improves overall equipment effectiveness by capturing, analysing and visualising plant floor data. The service brings all this together as an holistic solution to support the automotive industry.

Felton, who is the senior practice manager (automotive) at AWS, says the platform has purpose-built capabilities, drawing on expertise from across the automotive industry, and offers the “broadest partner ecosystem of any cloud specifically for automotive customers to help them transform their businesses.”

Automating processes with AI

In one example, the company supported a digital production platform for Volkswagen (VW), which has 12 brands operating across more than 120 sites, 1500 suppliers and 200 million parts a day entering its factories to make 11 million cars a year. “We helped VW tackle that very complex operation with the digital production platform, with analytics in the cloud to help them achieve efficiency, quality and sustainability,” Felton explains.

During production, Volkswagen Group brands apply 25 different labels that contain country-specific safety, usability and specification data with over 2000 variants. To automate this process, VW’s Porsche brand developed a solution using the services, which saw a manual label inspection programme replaced with an AI-driven programme to conduct the process automatically and with greater speed and accuracy.

Providing integrated solutions

Manufacturers are increasingly looking for integrated solutions that combine manufacturing systems with those operated by their supply chain partners to reduce transport costs and lead to more sustainable ways to move millions of parts. In this instance, the digital platform configures route optimisation and ensures correct demand forecast to reduce component waste.

With a trend towards electric vehicles driven by sustainability goals and emissions regulations, computer-aided engineering can support durability, crash protection, safer use of batteries and thermal modelling of advanced cooling systems. The services can help customers predict and understand battery health, capacity and failures, range and weather conditions impacting battery performance.

The company also works with Rivian Automotive on high-performance computing for design engineering for crashworthiness, aerodynamics and durability. “There is a significant time and cost saving by doing simulation in the cloud, as it gives access to a scale that you do not have on present systems; you have almost limitless capacity to do simulations,” says Felton.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Unlock knowledge with Netilion Water Network Insights
Endress+Hauser South Africa IT in Manufacturing
With just a few clicks, an ISO 9001-certified and metrologically traceable verification can be triggered directly within the solution for all supported flowmeters.

Read more...
Network design for mission-critical systems
IT in Manufacturing
The network is effectively the nervous system of a modern site, allowing protection, control, monitoring, security and safety devices to intercommunicate in a quick, reliable and efficient fashion.

Read more...
High-speed Ethernet up to 1 km with Gigabit Ethernet extenders
Phoenix Contact IT in Manufacturing
With Power-over-Link and Power-over-Ethernet functions, the entire Gigabit Ethernet extender network and connected PoE devices are supplied with power via the data lines.

Read more...
Ready for industrial network evolution?
RJ Connect Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
To prepare for the future, it is time for industrial networks to evolve, and Moxa is committed to helping them take the leap towards the next generation of networking.

Read more...
Are engineers equipped with 4IR skills?
Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
Technology has evolved exponentially in the last 10 years, much faster than the 10 years before. A gap will undoubtedly develop if technology evolves faster than our skills. Therefore, we must start immediately identifying the gaps and what 4IR skills we need to fill them.

Read more...
Valmet mobile maintenance app
Valmet Automation IT in Manufacturing
VMM meets industrial cybersecurity standards, follows all best practices and guidelines, and is audited by an accredited service provider.

Read more...
Business platform to accelerate digital transformation
Siemens South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Siemens has launched an open digital business platform, Siemens Xcelerator, to accelerate digital transformation and value creation for customers of all sizes in industry, buildings, grids and mobility. The business platform makes digital transformation easier, faster and scalable.

Read more...
South African manufacturing sector’s readiness for Industry 4.0
Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
New research from PwC’s Insights into the I4.0 Readiness of SA Manufacturing 2022 report shows that I4.0 tools have the ability to increase the quality, flexibility, performance and overall competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. 

Read more...
Security certified IIoT edge gateway
Omron Electronics IT in Manufacturing
The DIN-mountable device can be installed in machine control panels to provide remote access for on-demand, real-time servicing of industrial equipment.

Read more...
EPLAN relegates device data DIY to history
EPLAN Software & Services IT in Manufacturing
With the new Data Portal Request Process, customers can order individual device data in Data Standard quality using a credit system.

Read more...