Mar 29, 2021

Volkswagen/Brose develop joint manufacturing venture

JointVenture
Volkswagen
TheBroseGroup
SITECH
Georgia Wilson
2 min
SITECH , Volkswagen and the Brose Group
Volkswagen and Brose have entered into a joint venture to develop and manufacture vehicle interior structures and solutions...

Following an announcement made by Volkswagen, the company reports its latest joint venture alongside The Brose Group.

Details of the joint venture

In establishing the joint venture, The Brose Group and Volkswagen will develop and manufacture complete seats, seat structures, and components, as well as solutions for vehicle interiors. 

In addition, The Brose Group will acquire half of Volkswagen’s subsidiary - SITECH - with both companies holding a 50% share in the planned joint venture. Brose will take over industrial leadership and consolidate the joint venture for accounting purposes.

The mission

While it is still pending standard closing conditions and antitrust law approvals. The aom of the joint venture is to be global leaders in the vehicle seats market. The joint venture will begin by expanding its business with the Volkswagen Group, followed by capturing a significant share of business from OEMs that are not part of the Volkswagen Group. 

SITECH sales in the current fiscal year

SITECH anticipates sales of €1.4bn during the current fiscal year, from its workforce of more than 5,200. By 2030, the joint venture expects to double its business volume to €2.8bn, as well as its employees to expand to 7,000.

“Brose and SITECH are bundling their expertise in the new company and preparing for future developments in the market for vehicle seats and interior solutions. Current trends such as e-mobility, cross-system connectivity and autonomous driving are changing the requirements for tomorrow’s interiors. The vehicle interior is developing into a mobile living space that blends conventional demands on comfort and safety with new, flexible and personalized design options,” states Volkswagen. 

For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

SmartManufacturing
DigitalTransformation
DigitalFactory
ConnectedFactory
2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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