Industry News

Automated Production Or Manpower, Automotive Car Manufacturers Have Different Choices

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Tesla still encounters bottlenecks in promoting fully automated production. BMW still embraces human resources

     In the past, Tesla, an electric car manufacturer, actively promoted full-automatic production. It wanted to build an unmanned car factory and reduce personnel costs. Although Tesla sprinted on Model 3 car production capacity, its production line has not been able to improve, resulting in continuous lagging behind in progress. Lon Musk has to admit that over-reliance on robots is one of the factors that limit the output of the Model 3, and in order to increase production efficiency, more manpower is needed to assist assembly.

To be fair, at this stage, industrial robots still need to rely on long-term training and matching with multiple sensor modules in order to achieve human-like flexibility. In particular, Bloomberg once reported on an exclusive interview of Oliver Zipse, a BMW board member. Oliver Zipse Said that fully automated production is not the goal of BMW, because manpower has irreplaceable flexibility, and further indicated that the production of high-end car models is relatively lenient. However, to produce more popular car models, how to maintain production efficiency and control costs Still very important.

In recent years, BMW has been actively developing a production system that can continuously produce fine cars, and has begun to apply the same production system to the production of electric vehicles. The production capacity also exceeds Tesla's production capacity. According to its BMW data, the BMW production line indicates that Can produce Tesla 1 year electric vehicle production in 2 weeks.

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Volkswagen Group actively promotes the industrialization of all production bases to 4.0 to maintain its competitiveness in the automotive industry

     Also from the Volkswagen Group of German origin, it owns ordinary brand Volkswagen, Skoda, SEAT, coupe brand Audi, Porsche, Bentley, super sports car brand Lamborghini, Bugatti, commercial vehicle brand Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, MAN, Scanney. The Asia-European automobile brand has 120 automotive plants worldwide, employs more than 620,000 people, and has annual production of more than 10 million cars.

After undergoing a storm of diesel doors and facing huge fines, the Volkswagen Group plans to maintain its competitive advantage in the fiercely competitive automotive market. By 2025, all Volkswagen Group production sites, including those in China, will Digitalization of the production process and seamless network switching can be achieved, and self-control, self-optimization and sustainable production can be guaranteed. In particular, industrial robots with man-machine collaboration capabilities can be introduced on the production line to work collaboratively with assembly employees to speed up production.

Take Volkswagen’s automotive plant in Slovakia as an example. Currently, it takes only 2.5 minutes to produce and assemble three cars. The average time between delivery of each car is 0.83 minutes, which is about 50 seconds. However, for the Volkswagen Group, it is “secondary speed”. It is not its ultimate goal, but rather the realization of complete autonomous production. The so-called autonomous production does not mean that humans are not needed at all, or that people tell robots what they need to produce, and then the robots in the factory are assembled into production lines to produce.

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Through gesture teaching and AI training, robots will be able to achieve human flexibility.

     In order to achieve this goal of independent production, Volkswagen has independently developed its own production robots and a central nervous system based on big data and AI processing technology in its SPL intelligent production laboratory. In particular, the latter is a set of traceable products. A super system of all production data that can analyze which robots and components are needed to produce a particular model and further deploy robots and components.

Furthermore, this production system can be introduced through technologies such as artificial intelligence. It can learn independently in the process of organizing the production process, and continuously optimize the production process in the next production, as well as increase production efficiency.

     “The Volkswagen Group has defined two smart factories, one in Munich, Germany and the other in Foshan.” Zuo Zhijun, IT system support engineer at FAW-Volkswagen Foshan Branch stated that the level of intelligence at the Foshan plant is fully representative of the public. Group's level of smart manufacturing.

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On June 22, FAW-Volkswagen South China Base was fully completed and put into production. This is the third production base that FAW-Volkswagen has put into operation in 2018, and it is also the most intelligent plant of FAW-Volkswagen. What is the end of this factory?

In 2011, the first phase of FAW-Volkswagen South China Base started construction and was put into operation in September 2013. The second phase of the project started construction in May 2014 and will be completed and put into operation on June 22 this year, and the production capacity will also be increased to 600,000 vehicles. Per year.

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Compared to the first phase, the automation of the second phase is higher and the environmental protection process is also more complete. Qin Huanming, deputy party secretary and deputy general manager of China FAW Group Corporation, also made it clear at the inauguration ceremony that Foshan can be said to be a model project for FAW-Volkswagen to explore the “smart factory”, which is both a factory and a leading future FAW-Volkswagen production base. Digital transformation laboratory.

     Simply take a look at several figures to understand the South China base's technological level and production capacity.

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In the press shop, the automation rate reaches 90%. It has the world's most advanced servo press steel-aluminum hybrid uncoiling and blanking production line; in the welding shop, it realizes the production of 4 models of mixed-line production, and the body size is 100% online monitoring, and it is the first time in the country. The IPG laser welding process was introduced; the automation rate of the coating shop was close to 100%; in terms of production and logistics supply, the assembly line was arranged according to the “h” type, and the logistics route was the shortest.

In general, the higher the automation rate of a factory is, the more representative it can be, and the higher the production efficiency. According to engineers, this factory has a new car every minute. In addition, high-automation production also increases accuracy, improves product quality, and reduces operational risk.

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And a variety of models mixed line production is also a technical manifestation. When visiting the factory, it is obvious that the resources in the factory can be maximally utilized, and the space is greatly saved through a compact upper and lower structure.

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In the future, South China Base will undertake two FAW-Volkswagen "heavyweight" models, including FAW-Volkswagen's first SUV Qiange T-ROC and Audi brand new SUV-Q2L. Both models will also achieve flexible collinear production. Among them, the visiting song has already gone offline at the factory and will be officially listed at the end of July this year. The Q2L, which is expected to be Audi's cheapest SUV, will also generate new heat in the second half of the year.

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In addition to these two important models, the South China Base is the key layout of FAW-Volkswagen in the new energy field. The important technical support of the Volkswagen China Electric Vehicle Strategy supports the MEB platform to be located in South China. MEB platform products have three characteristics: new model, new space, and high intelligence, which will significantly increase the driving range, achieve 100% networking, and automatic driving.

     Based on the MEB platform, in 2020, South China Base will officially launch a localized I.D. new energy model. In addition, the fully-commissioned South China Base will produce the latest products of the Volkswagen and Audi brands and the latest technology in electric vehicles.

     FAW-Volkswagen South China Base is the first domestic auto industry to receive the “Green Industrial Building” Samsung certification from the China Green Building 

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It can be said that this factory is everywhere embodies the concept of environmental protection and energy conservation. Even if it is the lighting of the office area, it also absorbs natural light through the roof of special materials. The South China base also adapts local conditions and makes full use of solar energy resources. It is understood that the amount of electricity generated by solar energy can provide about 10% of the total required for the entire plant. The 2017 data shows that the annual savings through photovoltaic power generation can be 2.65 million (electricity).

In addition, the plant reuses the reclaimed water, that is, the greening, cleaning, and replenishment of industrial circulating water for the reuse of the discharged water. The current water utilization rate can reach 60%. In addition to its own use, the factory is also studying the provision of water to the community, including municipalities.

     The fact that South China Base is also welcomed by the government lies in its economic benefits. After the first phase of production, more than 10,000 jobs have been created and 50,000 people have been employed in related industries. The South China base will also bring in more than 200 billion yuan worth of production, helping Foshan reach its “trillion-dollar club” in GDP in 2018.

     This year is the year of FAW-Volkswagen. By the time the new vehicles are successively released, the production capacity will be able to catch up quickly. This is still due to the fact that FAW-Volkswagen's experienced construction process is the most important. This South China base is even more equal to Munich's "smart factory" and its strength is evident. After accumulating more experience, in the future it will also lead other FAW-Volkswagen production bases in the intelligent and digital transformation.

Prepared by :Lucy Ye