Honda announces its global automobile manufacturing restructure
In order to accelerate its commitment to...
Honda has announced it will restructure its global manufacturing network, impacting its European operations.
In order to accelerate its commitment to ,manufacturing electrified cars, in response to global demands within the automotive industry, it has revised its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes.
The business has consequently decided to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon in the United Kingdom in 2021, at the end of its current model’s production lifecycle. The plant currently produces 150,000 cars per year, and employs approximately 3,500 people. Consultation activity will begin with potentially affected employees.
The restructure will also impact Honda’s automobile operations in Turkey, where it produces 38,000 units per year. It will cease manufacturing its current Civic sedan model in 2021 and intends to continue its business operations. Honda Turkiye A.S. will continue to hold constructive dialogue with Turkish stakeholders during this period.
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“In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly,” announced Katsushi Inoue, Chief Officer for European Regional Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and President, Honda Motor Europe.
“As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future.”
The business will continue to make essential changes across its global automobile production network. Facing evolving market trends and tighter environmental regulations, the company is committed to driving the electrification of its products, particularly within the US and Asia.
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’.