Manufacturing Sector: Automotive
The trial focuses on the early phase of product development related to the production planning and especially the product changes influencing the machinery (production equipment planning). . The information from the Machine Repository is used by the planning department to consider technological standards in order to evaluate and to minimize the investment costs. The information about each machine facility within the MR will be updated continuously during the entire life cycle and will be used in the following serial implementation process.
The trial focuses on the production equipment life cycle management. The maintenance and the asset history of the machinery are summarized in the machinery repository. The Machinery Repository has strong relations to the PLM-System level, where the aggregated data is coming from.
Innovative Services and Functionalities
With the implementation of the trialled IT solution VW aims at:
- Making the MR available to all engineers/production planners.
- Implementing standard processes for managing the MR.
- Reducing the effort to create a new model in MR.
- Increasing reliability by reducing assessment errors.
- Reducing time for creating an evaluation report.
- Implementing standard processes for the evaluation procedure.
- Increasing MR accessibility for different work places.
- Having a single entry point for MR information.
To achieve this the following business processes are implemented:
Impact and Benefits
The initial values (As-Is) of the performance indicators were 100% and should be decreased by using the trial solution.
The target values were generated under the aspect how the trial solution and its technical components can support and improve the Business Processes.
As mentioned above the main values of the Performance Indicators and the Business Processes are time and costs. It should be possible to reduce the needed time for a Business Process by using the FITMAN trial solution, a web based service with all needed information and tools.
- Ratio: MR Update cost after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period*
- Ratio: MR Update time after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period*
- Ratio: Inquiry respond time after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period*
- Ratio: Inquiry respond cost after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period*
- Ratio: Average lead time to access experts knowledge about production equipment after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period*
- Ratio: Evaluation accuracy rate after / before the DV/AV implementation during a period
The FITMAN-project’s automotive OEM industrial trial is focused on improving certainty and reliability of estimated figures of in-house production costs at early stage of decision-making, e.g. if a production module is suitable for a new product. This estimation utilizes and is based on existing digital factory systems, tools and planning environment. Due to the high amount of available, detailed data of production modules the process is very complex. Therefore, a higher level of abstraction is required in describing/specifying the production modules. This level of abstraction needs to be closer to the product in order to be checked whether a production module in the MR is suitable or required for the product.
In more general terms, this means:
- From detailed production equipment data in Production Planning databases (e.g. bill of material, layout, design data), more abstract and product-related, value-adding-process-related data have to be extracted and stored in the machine repository. Also a visualisation of the production module with its processes should be provided.
This business case requires the following two topics to be checked and implemented:
- Extract different levels of product-related information abstraction from available MR and production-planning databases and make them available via web service.
- Support the analysis and evaluation process (product requirements vs. production equipment capabilities), e.g. by creating an evaluation report which can be shown on upper management’s iPad, reduce communication time, etc.
To achieve the above mentioned objectives a web service based on FIWARE GEs and FITMAN SEs is developed and implemented.
Technical Challenges & Trial Platform
Volkswagen IT policies are very sensitive regarding data security. One major challenge they implicate: they don’t allow the storage of data in a public cloud. As an alternative solution to the use of a public cloud, it was decided to host a private cloud infrastructure at IPK and restrict the access to VW and IPK only.
Thus, it was necessary to set up a private cloud on IPK premise. We started with test installations of OpenStack in a virtual box environment and worked through the documentation to gain a principle understanding of how this cloud computing software platform works.
For the trial solution, we decided to use a virtual machine on our institute’s vSphere cluster as OpenStack host. This setup brings the advantage of faster deployment and configuration flexibility as well as much lower hardware costs. On the downside, there are obvious performance issues resulting from the double virtualization. But the performance appears to be sufficient for the experimentation in the trial. Only the setup of the system had some performance related issues.
After the installation and testing of the OpenStack environment, we had to adapt the GEs and SEs of the VW trial in such a way that they are able to run on OpenStack. We devised a workflow to transform the existing VirtualBox images into images suitable for the OpenStack cloud.
Ongoing efforts concerning the OpenStack cloud platform at IPK include regular maintenance tasks, mainly security updates for the host as well as the guest operating systems.
The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. In 2014, the Group increased the number of vehicles delivered to customers to 10.14 million (2010: 9.71 million), corresponding to a important percent share of the world passenger car market.
The Group is made up of twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.
Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product spectrum extends from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles. In the commercial vehicle sector, the product offering ranges from pick-ups to buses and heavy trucks.
The Volkswagen Group is also active in other fields of business, manufacturing large-bore diesel engines for marine and stationary applications (turnkey power plants), turbochargers, turbo machinery (steam and gas turbines), compressors and chemical reactors, and also producing vehicle transmissions, special gear units for wind turbines, slide bearings and couplings as well as testing systems for the mobility sector.
The Group operates 107 production plants in 19 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Each working day, 572,800 employees worldwide produce some 39,350 vehicles, are involved in vehicle-related services or work in the other fields of business. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153 countries.
It is the goal of the Group to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which are competitive on an increasingly tough market and which set world standards in their respective classes.
IPKs objective is a rapid transfer of research results into the corporate practice. IPK works on integrated solutions in close cooperation with the industry. The division Corporate-Management developed methods and tools for enterprise modelling which are used in industry as backbone for the management processes as well as new services for manufacturing planning. IPK has successful experiences in developing new production planning services. IPK has research projects in crowed production, sustainable product lifecycles, manufacturing control and flexile configuration of global production networks.
In FITMAN IPK provides a private cloud infrastructure for the VW trial as well as the technical trial realization. This will lead to further research and service activities in terms of modular shop-floor IT integration into modular platform concepts as well as the improvement of the production planning process not only in automotive.