June 18, 2024

Omniverse Universe

Future Technology

Audi’s manufacturing facility of the long run expertise unveiled

Automotive producer Audi has revealed how it’s establishing a totally networked, extremely environment friendly and sustainable manufacturing system.

The purpose is to design a resilient, agile, and versatile worth chain to satisfy future challenges efficiently. These embody a rising range of variants, the transition to electromobility, the more and more unstable provide scenario, and political uncertainties.

“We’re utilizing synergies and taking a look at manufacturing as a complete – from the employee to the absolutely automated cycle,” stated Gerd Walker, member of the board of administration for manufacturing and logistics. “We’re digitizing particularly throughout the framework of an open innovation tradition. We’re making certain environment friendly worth creation and making it doable to utilise sources and capacities flexibly and effectively.”

Modular meeting

Audi says the normal automotive meeting line is more and more reaching its limits. Quite a few derivatives and individualisation choices are making merchandise increasingly diverse. In a inflexible, sequential course of, that complexity is increasingly tough to grasp.

“Modular meeting is one in every of our solutions to future challenges,” stated Mr Gerd Walker. “We’re utilizing digital applied sciences particularly to our staff’ benefit whereas acquiring a extra versatile and environment friendly meeting course of.”

Within the Audi Manufacturing Lab, venture supervisor Wolfgang Kern’s crew is making ready modular meeting for mass manufacturing.

Audi is initially implementing the idea in inside door panel pre-assembly within the Ingolstadt plant. Within the check operation, work now not follows a uniform sequence. As a substitute, it meets explicit wants.

Automated guided automobiles (AGVs) convey door panels proper to the station the place the elements are assembled.

Audi's Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
Audi’s Automated guided automobiles (AGVs)

“By lowering manufacturing time via an orientation towards worth creation and self-guidance, we are able to improve productiveness by as much as 20% in some instances,” Mr Kern stated. “As well as, we are able to hyperlink the modular meeting to particular manufacturing steps. For instance, now, a single employee can set up full solar blinds. That used to require two or three staff as a result of preset processing occasions in an meeting line.

Digital meeting planning in sensible manufacturing

Digital meeting planning not solely saves materials sources but in addition makes revolutionary, versatile collaboration doable throughout completely different areas. It eliminates the necessity to construct prototypes within the planning course of. A scanning course of generates three-dimensional level clouds that can be utilized to just about reverse engineer machines and infrastructure. The software program relies on synthetic intelligence and machine studying. It makes it doable for workers at Audi to navigate via meeting traces just about. Volkswagen’s Industrial Cloud offers them an environment friendly instrument that permits them, for instance, to match areas and use acceptable options from different manufacturing traces of their planning.

Proper now, Audi is working with NavVis to check Spot the robotic canine to allow them to do the 3D scans as effectively as doable. Round 4 million sq. meters and 13 vegetation have been concerned since website digitalisation began in 2017. Scanning 100,000 sq. meters – as an example, in Audi A6 manufacturing in Neckarsulm – takes about three weeks in single-shift operation. The scans can solely be performed at night time or on weekends. On high of that, structural obstacles like steps and doorways make scanning work tougher.

In contrast, Spot the robotic canine can try this scanning in 48 hours and determine his route autonomously. Audi has been testing Spot intensively since December 2021.

Spot the dog
Spot the canine

“The check outcomes are extraordinarily promising and might be up to date frequently,” stated venture supervisor André Bongartz. “Enter knowledge are continually coming in, and we are able to use it in planning for brand spanking new automobile fashions.” Any vary of 3D scans might be built-in into the digital pictures, which Andrés Kohler’s crew is accountable for. “Merging all of the planning knowledge in our digital twin has given us a holistic take a look at our future manufacturing plans years forward of time,” Kohler explains. Like in an actual manufacturing facility, it contains the store ground, conveyor expertise, instruments, shelving, and containers alongside the brand new Audi mannequin.

Meeting sequences and logistical points are largely designed and optimized by interdisciplinary groups in what is called 3D course of workshops. Due to the digital twin and an in-house VR answer, Audi exploits the advantages of digitalization and visualization. These embody part knowledge which can be up to date day by day and a view of assorted automobile variants. “Above all, we take a look at manufacturing by way of what it should seem like afterward as a complete,” Andrés Kohler defined. He emphasizes that collaboration stays a core factor: “I’m all the time fascinated yet again the second we placed on the VR glasses and meet our colleagues as avatars within the digital world. First, we construct our new Audi there or take a look at a computer-generated avatar and the way it applies as a real-time simulation. And when needed, whereas we’re in there collectively, we focus on and optimize the sequences and the office surroundings, like the right way to arrange supplies of what instruments are wanted.”

Synthetic intelligence in manufacturing

Synthetic intelligence and machine studying are core applied sciences in Audi’s digital transformation and trendy manufacturing. An AI algorithm within the Ingolstadt press store helps determine flaws in elements. That process is supported by software program based mostly on a man-made neural community. The software program itself identifies the smallest flaws and reliably marks them. The answer relies on deep studying, a particular sort of machine studying that may work with unstructured and high-dimensional knowledge volumes. The crew used a number of million check patterns to coach the unreal neural community over months. That database includes a number of terabytes of those pictures from presses at Audi websites and several other Volkswagen websites.

In one other pilot venture, Audi makes use of synthetic intelligence to examine the standard of spot welds in high-volume manufacturing at its Neckarsulm website. It takes about 5,300 weld spots to attach the elements within the physique of an Audi A6 with each other. Till now, manufacturing workers have used randomized ultrasound analyses to watch the standard of resistance spot welding (abbreviated WPS in German). As a part of the WPS Analytics pilot venture, specialists use synthetic intelligence (AI) to detect high quality anomalies routinely in real-time. Presently, the algorithm, dashboard, and deep high quality evaluation software are all used to assemble the physique of the A6 and A7. It’s a blueprint for different functions in networked manufacturing.

Edge Cloud 4 Manufacturing idea

With the native server answer Edge Cloud 4 Manufacturing, Audi is initiating a paradigm shift in manufacturing facility automation. After profitable testing within the Audi Manufacturing Lab (P-Lab), three native servers will take over employee assist within the Böllinger Höfe. In manufacturing in Neckarsulm, the Audi e-tron GT quattro1 and the R8 share an meeting line. The small-scale sequence produced there are significantly properly suited to testing initiatives from the P-Lab and making an attempt issues out for large-scale sequence. Audi desires to be the primary producer on the planet to show to those sorts of centralized server options in cycle-dependent manufacturing. If the server infrastructure continues to function reliably, Audi desires to roll out this automation expertise – the one one in every of its sort on the planet – for serial manufacturing all through the group.

With the Edge Cloud 4 Manufacturing, a couple of centralized and native servers will tackle the work of numerous costly industrial PCs. The server answer makes it doable to stage out the virtualized shoppers throughout the full variety of them – a much more environment friendly use of sources. Manufacturing can be economized, significantly the place software program rollouts, working system modifications, and IT-related bills are involved. “What we’re doing here’s a revolution,” says Gerd Walker, Member of the Board of Administration of AUDI AG Manufacturing and Logistics. “We used to have to purchase {hardware} after we wished to introduce new capabilities. With Edge Cloud 4 Manufacturing, we solely purchase functions within the type of software program. That’s the essential step towards IT-based manufacturing.”