Audi prepares production for next-gen electric motors
Automotive manufacturer - Audi - has begun preparations for the production of its new generation of electric motors, based on the 'Premium Platform Electric (PPE)' developed with Porsche.
"We are very pleased about this new milestone in the drive production. In accordance with the Audi Group's electrification strategy, we are actively shaping the new era of electrification as the world's largest drive plant, in addition to producing a large number of efficient combustion engines. This is how we set the course for the future of our company, secure jobs and continue the company's success story," says Alfons Dintner, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI HUNGARIA Zrt.
Changes to the existing production hall
In order to begin production a completely new department will be established in Audi Hungaria's drive production. So far Audi has developed numerous facilities and the assembly line for future production.
In addition, in order to produce the new drives, an area of 15,000 meters squared is being expanded in the existing production hall. The realisation of the project is expected to secure the jobs of roughly 700 employees in the future.
Harnessing VR glasses
Used for the planning of the new production area, Audi harnessed VR glasses technology for the first time at Audi Hungaria to design a production line.
Audi reports that advantages of using such technology included, engineers having the ability to plan the production process more effectively, and design it innovatively by using 3D image processing technology. It is stated that this makes the production area more efficient as well as the workplace more ergonomic.
What is Audi’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE)?
Designed and developed in cooperation with Porsche, Audi’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE), provides the conditions needed for ultra-modern technology with its special architecture. The platform is used to satisfy the demanding customer requests in full-size and luxury class segments. Audi’s PPE architecture is also said to be high in tech and highly scalable to allow both low and high floor vehicles to be realised.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.