The automotive industry is based on ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) and ‘just-in-sequence’ (JIS) processes for material provision and production. JIT is a methodology aimed primarily at reducing flow times within production as well as response times from suppliers and to customers, while JIS is a specialised inventory strategy to achieve JIT, whereby components and parts arrive at a production line right in time as scheduled before they get assembled.
Maximum system availability is, therefore, essential as any downtime results in high follow-up costs. SEW-Eurodrive provides the local automotive industry with a unique product portfolio specifically designed to meet these requirements.
SEW-Eurodrive Port Elizabeth branch manager Francois Sieberhagen says that the product offering ranges from individual components to complete packages and system solutions. “Leading automotive manufacturers choose SEW-Eurodrive as the company provides cost-effective drive solutions that deliver more value over the long-term. We provide a modular design and a reduced number of variants, which increases flexibility and minimises costs,” he explains.
SEW-Eurodrive products most commonly used in the local automotive industry are; standard gear motors, synchronous and asynchronous servo-motors, Movidrive B application inverters, Movifit FC decentralised standard inverters, Movipro SDC decentralised standard inverters and Movipro ADC decentralised application inverters.
Sieberhagen indicates that the latest-generation SEW-Eurodrive Variolution packages enable automotive manufacturers to reduce both the complexity of their systems, as well as their installation costs. “Our drive technology and expert knowledge ensures maximum productivity, energy efficiency and reliability for clients’ systems,” he continues.
Variolution is essentially a ‘packaged offering’, whereby 80% of the package is standard and 20% is customisable. This provides customers with some level of customisation on top of the benefit of a standard tried and tested solution. The benefit is that the customer has to deal with less variables and suppliers during the process of setting up a new application.
“There are 10 Variolution packages which include conveyer line, packing and unpacking, and lifting, to name a few. Special modifications to meet different requirements such as energy-efficiency or hygienic design have also been taken into account. With Variolution, customers are provided with on-site commissioning and installation as well,” says Sieberhagen.
According to Sieberhagen, SEW-Eurodrive’s recent involvement in the local automotive industry has been primarily focused on machine builders and component suppliers. He does, however, anticipate an increase in market share with scheduled upgrades due to take place at various manufacturing facilities. “We continue to work on expanding our extensive product and service portfolio in order to support and fulfil the needs of the automotive industry,” he concludes.
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