Audi’s factory of the future technology unveiled

Auto company Audi has uncovered how it is setting up a totally networked, really economical and sustainable generation program.

The intention is to style and design a resilient, agile, and versatile worth chain to fulfill long run challenges effectively. These incorporate a expanding diversity of variants, the changeover to electromobility, the ever more risky offer problem, and political uncertainties.

“We’re using synergies and looking at output as a full – from the employee to the absolutely automated cycle,” reported Gerd Walker, member of the board of administration for production and logistics. “We’re digitizing particularly inside the framework of an open innovation society. We’re making certain efficient worth generation and generating it attainable to utilise methods and capacities flexibly and successfully.”

Modular assembly

Audi says the standard automotive assembly line is progressively achieving its boundaries. Various derivatives and individualisation possibilities are producing merchandise additional and extra varied. In a rigid, sequential course of action, that complexity is more and more tricky to learn.

“Modular assembly is one particular of our answers to future issues,” explained Mr Gerd Walker. “We’re applying digital technologies precisely to our employees’ gain though obtaining a far more adaptable and effective assembly course of action.”

In the Audi Output Lab, challenge supervisor Wolfgang Kern’s staff is planning modular assembly for mass manufacturing.

Audi is in the beginning applying the thought in interior doorway panel pre-assembly in the Ingolstadt plant. In the examination procedure, function no lengthier follows a uniform sequence. As a substitute, it fulfills particular demands.

Automated guided autos (AGVs) bring door panels correct to the station wherever the parts are assembled.

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

“By minimizing output time by means of an orientation towards price generation and self-steerage, we can boost productivity by up to 20% in some situations,” Mr Kern mentioned. “In addition, we can website link the modular assembly to particular output techniques. For instance, now, a one worker can set up full sunshine blinds. That used to call for two or three staff due to the preset processing instances in an assembly line.

Digital assembly setting up in intelligent generation

Digital assembly arranging not only will save content assets but also helps make modern, adaptable collaboration doable throughout distinct locations. It removes the want to build prototypes in the setting up course of action. A scanning course of action generates 3-dimensional stage clouds that can be applied to nearly reverse engineer machines and infrastructure. The computer software is based mostly on artificial intelligence and device studying. It will make it attainable for workforce at Audi to navigate by means of assembly traces virtually. Volkswagen’s Industrial Cloud gives them an productive software that makes it possible for them, for illustration, to compare destinations and use acceptable options from other generation strains in their planning.

Correct now, Audi is functioning with NavVis to take a look at Location the robotic pet dog so they can do the 3D scans as proficiently as attainable. All around 4 million sq. meters and 13 plants have been included due to the fact internet site digitalisation started out in 2017. Scanning 100,000 square meters – for occasion, in Audi A6 production in Neckarsulm – takes about a few weeks in one-shift procedure. The scans can only be carried out at night time or on weekends. On prime of that, structural road blocks like measures and doors make scanning do the job additional challenging.

By contrast, Spot the robotic dog can do that scanning in 48 hrs and determine out his route autonomously. Audi has been tests Spot intensively due to the fact December 2021.

Spot the dog
Location the puppy

“The check final results are extremely promising and can be updated on a regular basis,” explained challenge supervisor André Bongartz. “Input facts are constantly coming in, and we can use it in arranging for new car or truck designs.” Any array of 3D scans can be built-in into the digital visuals, which Andrés Kohler’s group is responsible for. “Merging all the planning info in our digital twin has provided us a holistic search at our potential creation options years ahead of time,” Kohler points out. Like in a actual factory, it contains the store ground, conveyor technological know-how, resources, shelving, and containers alongside the new Audi model.

Assembly sequences and logistical factors are largely built and optimized by interdisciplinary groups in what is acknowledged as 3D method workshops. Many thanks to the digital twin and an in-property VR remedy, Audi exploits the advantages of digitalization and visualization. These contain part information that are current every day and a see of numerous automobile variants. “Above all, we search at manufacturing in conditions of what it will search like later on as a full,” Andrés Kohler described. He emphasizes that collaboration stays a main factor: “I’m always fascinated all around all over again the instant we set on the VR eyeglasses and meet up with our colleagues as avatars in the virtual entire world. Very first, we create our new Audi there or seem at a pc-created avatar and how it applies as a true-time simulation. And when essential, while we’re in there alongside one another, we discuss and enhance the sequences and the workplace natural environment, like how to established up elements of what equipment are wanted.”

Artificial intelligence in creation

Artificial intelligence and equipment mastering are main systems in Audi’s digital transformation and contemporary manufacturing. An AI algorithm in the Ingolstadt press store helps determine flaws in components. That method is supported by computer software dependent on an synthetic neural network. The application by itself identifies the smallest flaws and reliably marks them. The answer is based on deep mastering, a particular sort of machine discovering that can get the job done with unstructured and large-dimensional facts volumes. The crew applied a number of million check designs to teach the artificial neural community around months. That database contains various terabytes of these photographs from presses at Audi sites and a number of Volkswagen internet sites.

In a different pilot undertaking, Audi employs artificial intelligence to look at the top quality of spot welds in higher-quantity production at its Neckarsulm site. It requires about 5,300 weld spots to hook up the parts in the body of an Audi A6 with one a further. Right until now, output personnel have utilized randomized ultrasound analyses to watch the high quality of resistance spot welding (abbreviated WPS in German). As element of the WPS Analytics pilot project, professionals use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect high-quality anomalies immediately in authentic-time. Presently, the algorithm, dashboard, and deep good quality evaluation software are all made use of to construct the human body of the A6 and A7. It is a blueprint for other purposes in networked production.

Edge Cloud 4 Generation strategy

With the nearby server alternative Edge Cloud 4 Generation, Audi is initiating a paradigm shift in factory automation. Just after successful screening in the Audi Output Lab (P-Lab), 3 nearby servers will take above worker assist in the Böllinger Höfe. In generation in Neckarsulm, the Audi e-tron GT quattro1 and the R8 share an assembly line. The modest-scale collection made there are particularly effectively suited for screening tasks from the P-Lab and striving items out for substantial-scale series. Audi would like to be the 1st producer in the world to switch to these sorts of centralized server solutions in cycle-dependent output. If the server infrastructure proceeds to operate reliably, Audi needs to roll out this automation technologies – the only one of its kind in the environment – for serial generation all through the group.

With the Edge Cloud 4 Creation, a several centralized and area servers will consider on the do the job of many high-priced industrial PCs. The server solution makes it doable to amount out the virtualized clients throughout the full quantity of them – a considerably far more efficient use of sources. Creation will be economized, particularly where software package rollouts, working procedure variations, and IT-related bills are involved. “What we’re carrying out below is a revolution,” says Gerd Walker, Member of the Board of Administration of AUDI AG Output and Logistics. “We used to have to purchase components when we preferred to introduce new functions. With Edge Cloud 4 Output, we only invest in applications in the kind of program. That is the vital step toward IT-dependent generation.”

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