General Motors to renovate Infantry Squad Vehicle facility
In an announcement made by General Motors (GM), the company has announced plans to begin renovations on its Infantry Squad Vehicle production facility in North Carolina.
The renovations will support the production of the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), “a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier intended to transport a nine-Soldier infantry squad,” commented GM.
The manufacturing facility - located in Concord, North Carolina - will produce ISVs for the US Army as part of its US$214.3mn contract that was awarded to GM Defence in June 2020. The defence arm of GM celebrated the delivery of its first ISVs to the US Army in October 2020.
It is expected that construction at the 75,000 square foot facility will continue into early spring, with production starting to deliver vehicles in April. When GM’s defence arm ramps up to full rate production, the facility is expected to manufacture 649 ISVs, as well as support the production of 2,065 vehicles over eight years.
The ISV program marks the first major award for GM Defence since its re-establishment in 2017.
“We have tremendous momentum behind our ISV win, featuring a first-of-its-kind tactical wheeled vehicle that gives our Soldiers speed, durability and performance to enhance mission success. GM Defense is responsible for the design, engineering and manufacturing of the ISV. This facility will enable us to meet our customer’s timeline for delivery while continuing our journey to bring commercial technologies and transformative mobility solutions to the defense market,” commented Tim Herrick, interim president of GM Defense.
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’.