Rolls-Royce accelerates battery container production
From 2021 onwards, MTU EnergyPacks are set to be manufactured in the Siemens-Technopark in Ruhstorf, Bavaria, where Rolls-Royce already has a production site.
The expansion of the production site will form a component of Rolls-Royce’s new Microgrid Solutions division, established by Rolls-Royce at the beginning of the year when it acquired a majority stake in the Berlin-based energy storage specialist Qinois, now operating under the name Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin.
Microgrids are smart local power networks that combine power generated from renewables such as solar and wind energy with conventional power generation and storage batteries. Currently, most MTU EnergyPacks are produced in Ruhstorf at Rolls-Royce subsidiary, MTU Onsite Energy Systems, with the main speciality being series production of large MTU-brand electrical gensets.
“We see growing demand for MTU EnergyPacks, since more and more customers are seeking on-site power generation solutions that use renewables,” commented . “But when you use solar or wind power to generate electricity, you often need an interim solution for storage until it is actually consumed.”
The plan is for the three former factory halls of Siemens AG to be rebuilt, following the fitting of battery modules to a number of 40ft containers simultaneously, with subsequent testing, to be possible from early 2021. The facilities will include a showroom for customers, a warehouse, offices and adjoining rooms.
“We're delighted to have a renowned high-tech pioneer like Rolls-Royce join us in our Technopark,” added . “With its forward-looking battery technology, our new tenant will be a real asset to the park in the field of energy technology and systems. With Rolls-Royce here on site, both of us stand to gain from the creation of synergies and a strong trust-based partnership.”
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’.