Fiat Chrysler halts manufacturing plant production in Europe
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will halt operations across most of its European manufacturing plants.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it will be temporarily suspending production across its European manufacturing plants in light of the ongoing impact of CORVID-19.
“The temporary suspension continues the implementation of a comprehensive set of actions in response to the COVID-19 emergency and enables the Group to effectively respond to the interruption in market demand by ensuring the optimization of supply”, FCA announced. “In particular, the suspension of production is being facilitated to enable the Group to be ready to commence production promptly once market conditions allow.”
Subsidiaries FCA Italy and Maserati will temporarily suspend production at the Melfi, G. Vico (Pomigliano), Cassino, Mirafiori Carrozzerie, Grugliasco and Modena plants in Italy. Meanwhile, the Kragujevac and Tychy factories, in Serbia and Poland respectively, will also adopt identical measures. These will remain in effect until March 27, until which time the company will move to reevaluate processes depending on the pandemic conditions.
This follows shortly on from the previous set of protocols outlined by the company, who had previously set out protocols around social distancing of employees at work stations, as well as increased cleaning and sanitisation.
As COVID-19 crisis makes a notable impact in Italy, a number of companies have struggled to maintain operations. Ferrari and Lamborghini have also suspended production in Italy following the outbreak. In addition to this, supply chain disruptions have been imposed following the initial breakout in China, which disrupted FCA's operations last week.
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Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.