Honda to invest $30m in Latin American manufacturing
Japanese automaker Honda plans to invest 250 million pesos ($29.5 million) in Latin American manufacturing. The company has announced it will be producing its new HR-V mini SUV in Argentina.
The president of Honda Motor de Argentina, Hideki Kamiyama, made the announcement, saying the company plans to begin manufacturing the HR-V in Argentina during the first four months of 2015 and deliver 15,000 units by the end of the year.
Production of the new vehicle, which is nearly identical to the Honda Vezel that hit the Japanese market in late 2013, will take place at Honda’s plant in the city of Campana, Buenos Aires province.
Kamiyama also announced that in mid-November Honda’s Argentine subsidiary will begin exporting its CBX 250 motorcycle, known in South America as the Twister, to Peru.
Honda plans to export a total of 1,760 motorcycles valued at $4.2 million to that market and has already confirmed an initial shipment of 624 units.
“Additionally, feasibility studies have been launched to increase local motorcycle production for export to different regional countries such as Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as Peru,” said the company in a statement.
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’.