CASE STUDY BOOK

VOLKSWAGEN SLOVAKIA: SMART FACTORY OF THE FUTURE.

 

Customer.

 
Volkswagen Slovakia is the largest car manufacturer in Slovakia. Its car factory in Bratislava is the only automotive facility in the world producing five different car brands within a single factory in sizes coming from the compact cars to luxury SUV’s (Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, Audi Q8, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen up!, Volkswagen e-up!, ŠKODA Citigo, SEAT Mii). Total production reached 361,776 cars in 2017.
 
The factory in Bratislava is one of the most innovative and advanced automotive factories of the Volkswagen Group in the field of automation of internal logistics. CEIT, a company from the Asseco Group, is a proud partner of the plant as the supplier of autonomous robotic systems (currently more than 300 CEIT autonomous tractors operating in the plant in Bratislava).
 
The unique CEIT logistics system consists of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) of various types, interchanges, dynamic and static conveyors and monitoring workplaces. It also includes a control system using elements of artificial intelligence which is capable of autonomous flexible decision-making and control of transport, based on peripherals status, requirements from external devices and systems as well as the current situation in the plant.
 
The successful cooperation between Volkswagen Slovakia and CEIT meant that they did not want to stop with the logistics automation alone. Their shared intention was to move further, to improve the process by implementing smart solutions within Industry 4.0. Therefore, in 2017 the implementation of CEIT Digital Twin together with the Sewio Indoor Positioning System began.
 

Implementation.

 
The main objective of the CEIT project was to digitize the entire fleet within one of the plant’s halls and introduce precise location of intralogistics, including CEIT AGVs and forklift tracking. An important part of it was also to ensure full visibility and verifiability of the whole process, as well as obtaining very detailed information on individual objects.
 
The challenges which accompanied the implementation of the project resulted to a large extent from the specificity of the production hall. As much as 30% of the whole tracked area represented a completely variable warehouse that could turn from a completely empty area to being fully blocked within a timeframe of just a few hours. Given the number of moving objects, both manually and automatically driven, the system had to be able to cope with high traffic density, its peaks and occurrences of multiple objects within close proximity of each other.
 
The implementation of the solution, which was completed within 6 months, provided Volkswagen Slovakia with a real-time overview of all movements within the hall. Owing to the implementation, the plant in Bratislava has gained an efficient tool enabling a precise analysis of each machine in the fleet in terms of operational time, down and idle time, distance travelled and efficiency. In turn, the heat maps and spaghetti diagrams help visualize the flow and reveal the traffic density, actual path for each machine at a given time and where and at what time the biggest bottlenecks occur.
 
The delivered indoor positioning system covers the hall and its warehouse with a total area of 10,000 m² with hundreds of shelves, tracking 70 objects – both automatically navigated AGVs and manually driven forklifts. The system works with 50 cm accuracy and a refresh rate of 333 milliseconds.
 

Thanks to the implementation of the project Volkswagen Slovakia has gained the following benefits:

 

  • real-time visibility to verify current processes,
  • the overall operation time of the fleet and its objects,
  • the possibility to compare the ratios of run/stop time, distance travelled and loaded/unloaded trips to optimize fleet utilization,
  • an immediate visual summary of the movement within a time period,
  • information on traffic density and its bottlenecks to optimize fleet movement,
  • the ability to select and reply path of any of the moving object at a selected time in the past to uncover driving into any restricted zones or get the context of the situation that preceded the incident to prevent it in the future,
  • the simulation of proposed process updates in a real model and time frame,
  • navigation of drivers so they know where to go and what is the closest path without obstacles.

 
CEIT is a technological company that develops and brings to its industrial partners innovations to help them change their plants to intelligent factories within Industry 4.0. CEIT´s mission is to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the competitiveness of industrial enterprises. In particular, it focuses on automation of internal logistics, optimisation of production and logistics processes, design and material engineering, the Digital Factory concept, and complex solutions for Smart Factories.

Project in numbers.

6
months implementation of the system
10 %
less distance travelled attributed to forklift navigation
20 %
increase in the use of warehouse space
20 %
increase in OEE of the fleet after implementation of the solution
70
machines operating in the system
10,000 m2
of warehouse space handled by the system

ASSA ABLOY (SWITZERLAND) AG: KEY TO INDUSTRY 4.0.

 

Customer.

 
ASSA ABLOY (Switzerland) AG wanted to digitize the production for its KESO brand keys to move toward Industry 4.0 efficiency. ASSA ABLOY previously employed up to 20 separate drilling machines to make its keys.
 
As the first step in digitizing production, the company replaced its existing equipment with two new digital drilling machines. To provide the new drilling machines with the necessary job data, data from the company’s Infor ERP and its proprietary Lock Management System had to be merged, saved in a machine-readable form and communicated to the new drilling machines. Previously, data from both systems was merged on paper forms and entered manually by employees on the respective drilling machines using job boards. In order to complete the automation, the company developed a Production Information System based on MS Dynamics CRM. The Production Information System merges relevant data from the company’s ERP – order data, BOMs, workpiece information – and permutation data from their Lock Management System into an XML job file that the drilling machine can read and run. The Magic xpi Integration Platform was chosen to be the central component of the overall solution connecting all three systems.
 

Business processes.

 
Prior to the introduction of ASSA ABLOY’s (Switzerland) new Production Information System and its new digital drilling machines, the manufacturing process for keys for its locking systems required twenty different machines. Necessary production information was transported on paper to the respective machines where it was read and inputted manually from job boards. Today, the company’s new digital machines receive production information for jobs in the form of XML files from the company’s new Production Information System. ASSA ABLOY developed their Production Information System in-house based on MS Dynamics CRM. Relevant data from their ERP system and from their home-grown Lock Management System are fed into to the Production Information System. Information from the ERP system includes data regarding the specific order, BOMs and work piece information while the Lock Management System is queried for data from its database which stores all the designs that have been developed in the last 40 years. Bar codes on the containers enable the machines to recognize which order belongs to which blank container. Then the blanks for the end products are inserted in the drilling machines and processed automatically according to the data files. Magic xpi Integration Platform serves as the central data hub between the three systems: the ERP, the Lock Management System and the Production Information System. Magic xpi takes the data from the two upstream systems, integrates it in a job file and transfers it to the Production Information System in XML format. The Production Information System transfers the job file to the drilling machines that run it.
 

Key benefits.

 
With Magic xpi as a central data hub, ASSA ABLOY (Switzerland) AG has a fully integrated Industry 4.0 landscape that connects three central IT systems for the automation of production orders. Today, ASSA ABLOY can process about 400 orders per day, an output of approximately 10,000 keys, using its two new digital drilling machines and automated processes. With Magic xpi at the heart of the company’s new fully automated and continuous information logistics system, turnaround time from the job placement to the delivery of the locking system has shortened dramatically. By being able to deliver customized products faster and more reliably, ASSA ABLOY enjoys a significant competitive advantage. Process optimization and the integration of new machines is much easier and faster in the company’s new Magic xpi-based Industry 4.0 landscape. The company is now looking to duplicate its success with other product lines and processes.
 
„Magic xpi has proved to be an ideal integration solution because its standard connector for MS Dynamics dramatically reduced development time, enabling us to complete the project quickly. It’s code-free visual, drag and drop approach lets us see the all the objects and functions, and easily create the business processes we want” – said Erwin Fuchs, Business Development Manager at ASSA ABLOY (Switzerland) AG.
 
„For us, the Magic xpi integration solution stands in the center of our Industry 4.0 landscape, providing us with a sustainable competitive advantage that can be expanded in the future” – added Erwin Fuchs.

NGR: BUSINESS MODEL RECYCLING.

 

Customer.

 
Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (NGR) is an Austrian company headquartered in Feldkirchen, which has been producing highly specialized recycling machines since 1996. They are used for reprocessing plastic scrap materials, which are turned into pellets and can then be fed back into the production cycle.
 
The company’s dynamic growth and willingness to provide high quality services led it to look for a solution enabling it to collect and analyze the operating data of its machines to support its smart manufacturing initiatives. It was also essential for NGR to improve the efficiency of its service processes, especially as the company has over 1,000 machines in operation at customer sites in 80 countries.
 
The achievement of these goals was the reason why NGR decided to supplement its existing APplus system with a solution which will allow it to streamline its business processes to the Industry 4.0 level.
 
The implementation of the system developed by Asseco Solutions allows NGR to conduct analyses based on data provided by 1,000 machines operating in 80 countries.
 

Implementation.

 
In the autumn of 2015, the company’s development department initiated an internal research project to identify ways to adapt NGR’s machines to the needs of smart production. Smart Connected Solutions (SCS) – a proprietary system of Asseco Solutions – was considered to be the best to achieve this goal and its implementation began in April 2016.
 
The SCS system enables NGR’s machines to transfer a wide variety of process and quality parameters to the cloud, such as pressure, temperature and the viscosity of the molten plastic. This is carried out with the help of a special software client which NGR installs in the control systems of its machines. It encrypts the data and transfers it securely to the cloud.
 
SCS continuously monitors and analyses the machine data once it has been sent to the cloud. If it detects certain values or correlations indicating an imminent machine malfunction or breakdown, the Asseco solution triggers a preventive maintenance process.
 
Once the service ticket has been sent, the solution automatically identifies a suitable technician based on various criteria such as their qualifications. The solution then sends all information to the SCS app on the technician’s mobile device. The SCS app supports the technician and saves times by handling manual tasks, such as documenting travel time, logging the duration of the visit and creating the service call report. Then, it sends this information to the ERP system, which immediately triggers any follow-up processes, like invoicing.
 
The solution is currently in the implementation phase. NGR is planning a simultaneous go-live for its headquarters in Feldkirchen and all its international facilities in the USA, Malaysia and China.
 
For NGR, the project has become not only the first step towards Industry 4.0, but also an investment in the future profitability of the company.
 

Key benefits.

 
The machines’ internet connectivity enables an even higher degree of automation as well as the proactive planning and execution of maintenance processes. By triggering a preventive maintenance process, a worn component can be replaced before it causes a machine breakdown and a loss of productivity.
 
Using the machine data also enables the company to expand its portfolio with added-value information services. For example, NGR will be offering its customers a personalized app with which they can view and monitor the parameters of their machines and re-use the information in their internal processes.
 
The implementation of the Asseco system also allows NGR to conduct analyses based on data transmitted by all of its machines in operation. That gives it the possibility to provide its customers with recommendations, such as how they can optimize their output data by making one or two configuration changes.
 
The combination of APplus and SCS turns NGR products into smart machines which communicate via the cloud. For NGR, this increases and protects the value of its systems over the long term. As a result, this project is not only a first step for NGR towards Industry 4.0 but also an investment in the future profitability of the company.

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Industry 4.0