The BMW Group is increasingly relying on innovations from the fields of digitalization and Industry 4.0 in production logistics. The focus is on applications such as logistics robots, autonomous transport systems at plants and digitalization projects for an end-to-end supply chain. Staff can control logistics processes from mobile devices such... Details →


McKinsey & Co. survey finds huge gap between piloting and deploying digital manufacturing; automotive no exception

Automakers and their suppliers, like manufacturers in many other industries, have been exploring the potential of digital manufacturing strategies to increase productivity, profitability and decision-making. Audi, for example, just last week announced plans with Ericsson to pilot the use of 5G as a future-proof enabling communication technology for such Industry... Details →


Audi and Ericsson to pioneer 5G for automotive manufacturing

Audi and Ericsson plan to pioneer the use of 5G technology for automotive production. At Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, the two companies agreed on a range of activities exploring the potential of 5G as a future-proof communication technology that can meet the high demands of automotive production. Audi and... Details →


Mercedes-Benz Cars is starting construction of its first “Full-Flex Plant“ in Kecskemét, Hungary, about 90 km in the south of Budapest. Overall, the company is investing €1 billion in the new car plant and creating more than 2,500 jobs. The first global “Full-Flex Plant” of Mercedes-Benz Cars is based on... Details →


DOE Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute awards ~$10M to 10 projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) will award nearly $10 million for ten projects to help advance its goals and enable US manufacturers to develop and implement innovations that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. Launched in 2016, CESMII focuses on... Details →


Dürr is building a paint shop in Mexico for the BMW Group that meets the requirements for connected Industry 4.0 production. This plant, featuring the first integrated smart factory concept from Dürr, is being built at the San Luis Potosí site. San Luis Potosí will build the BMW brand’s best-selling... Details →


Dürr is building a fully automatic paint shop for a Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) plant in China. The plant is designed to handle 100,000 units per year, will commence operation in June 2018, and will produce battery-electric cars on behalf of a local electric car manufacturer. The vehicles will be... Details →


The “Amazon Effect” Is Coming To Oil Markets

by Irina Slav for Oilprice.com While OPEC mulls over further steps to once again support falling oil prices, tech startups are quietly ushering in a new era in oil and gas: the era of the digital oil field. Much talk has revolved around how software can completely transform the energy... Details →


Toyota and Hitachi collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using IoT platform; accelerating PDCA

Toyota Motor Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. will collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using an IoT (Internet of Things) platform. These two companies will conduct verification at Toyota’s model plants (Toyota, Aichi Prefecture) starting from this October. Through this verification, they intend to establish a platform using Hitachi’s IoT... Details →


At Audi’s Ingolstadt plant, humans and robots are now working side-by-side without a protective fence in an advance in human-robot cooperation (HRC). “Adhesive application with robot assistance,” abbreviated from the German as KLARA (Klebstoffapplikation mit Roboter-Assistenz), provides support with the installation of roofs made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)... Details →


Infineon launches €106M “Productive4.0” research project; largest European research effort to date in Industry 4.0

“Productive4.0”, the largest European research initiative to date in the field of Industry 4.0, was launched at Infineon Technologies in Dresden. Coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG, more than 100 partners from 19 European countries will work on digitizing and networking industry. Involved in the project are partners such as BMW,... Details →


Audi has won the Logistics Award for 2017 from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in recognition of its FTS driverless vehicle transport system. The autonomously operating system has been in production operation at the Ingolstadt site since the beginning of the year. The parking robot, RAY, from... Details →


The Schaeffler Group, a global integrated automotive and industrial supplier, sees e-mobility, Industry 4.0 and digitalization as the key opportunities for the future, said CEO Klaus Rosenfeld at the company’s press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Schaeffler is placing a strong emphasis on hybrid... Details →


Audi developing modular assembly principle as successor to production line; Győr testing for 2018 e-tron electric motor production

Audi is developing a new modular assembly principle intended as the enabler of the post-production line assembly era. Modular assembly—intended to address the need for growing complexity and flexibility in production—breaks up the traditional fixed-rhythm production line into individual process steps. In the latest issue of Audi Encounter, Fabian Rusitschka,... Details →


Audi has begun using smart gloves from Munich-based startup ProGlove in its international logistics department at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, where the group handles the worldwide dispatch of car components. The glove—named “Mark”—has an embedded barcode scanner on its back; employees trigger the scanning function by pressing the thumb... Details →


Dürr introduces new generation of painting robots with greater kinematic freedom; Industry 4.0

Dürr has introduced its next-generation of painting robot: the new Ecopaint Robot. With its greater kinematic freedom, the EcoRP E043i model with its seven-axis kinematic system enlarges the work zone and can eliminate the need for a linear displacement rail. This can significantly reduce investment and maintenance costs in the... Details →


Intel introducing new processor series dedicated for automotive applications

Intel is developing a new processor series dedicated for automotive applications. The A3900 series will enable a complete software-defined cockpit solution that incudes in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), digital instrument clusters and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—all in a single, compact and cost-effective SoC. Intel announced the new automotive processor family along... Details →


NVIDIA and FANUC Corporation are collaborating to implement artificial intelligence on the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system to increase robotics productivity and bring new capabilities to automated factories worldwide. Adding AI to the FIELD system will give robots the ability to teach themselves to do tasks faster... Details →


Daimler Trucks North America collaborates with AT&T and Microsoft on new connectivity solutions for HD trucks

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced new collaborations with AT&T and Microsoft Corporation with the goal of delivering further enhancements to its Detroit Connect suite of connected vehicle services. (Earlier post.) AT&T will provide cellular service for the new Detroit Connect Truck Data Center, an intelligent piece of hardware that... Details →


Schaeffler and IBM sign Watson IoT partnership; Industry 4.0

Leading automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with IBM to accelerate the digital transformation of its entire operations and customer solutions using Watson’s cognitive intelligence and insight from billions of sensors that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Schaeffler manufactures millions of precision-engineered... Details →


Audi is further expanding its worldwide production network with the opening of the company’s first automobile plant on the North American continent. This will be the first time the company has produced a model for the global market at a location outside of the European continent. Audi will produce the... Details →


Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches RIO: open cloud-based platform for transportation industry digitization

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is presenting itself to the public for the first time as a group of strong brands: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In addition to numerous new products, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is... Details →


The BMW Group has introduced a fully-automated, optical measuring cell in its pilot plant in Munich. Freely moving robot arms use sensors to create a three-dimensional image of an entire vehicle and generate a 3D data model from the data captured, with an accuracy of less than 100 µm. This... Details →


Porsche has officially dedicated a new engine plant for eight-cylinder engines. The factory at the main site in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen works with state-of-the-art production methods, leveraging digitalization and data management. At full plant utilization produces around 200 eight-cylinder V-engines daily. The sports car manufacturer has invested nearly €80 million in the... Details →


LA-based SMLC to lead new DOE Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute; ~$800M for 5 new hub competitions

At an event in Washington, President Obama announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy. The winning coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, California brings together a consortium of nearly 200 partners from across academia, industry,... Details →


RoMulus project: developing intelligent multi-sensor systems for Industry 4.0

The RoMulus (Robust multi-sensor technology for status monitoring in Industry 4.0 applications) research project project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is focused on simplifying and accelerating the development and use of intelligent multi-sensor systems for Industry 4.0——the digitalization of production processes based on devices... Details →


Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg opens competence center for manufacturing technology and innovation for new production technologies

Volkswagen has opened a competence center for technology and innovation and its Wolfsburg plant. Volkswagen employees will develop and test new production technologies on-site in the center’s near-production environment. The innovation center has six sections: digital way; human-machine interaction (HMI); material flow and material handling; body construction; assembly; and ergonomics.... Details →


Saarbrücken engineers developing networked self-analyzing electric motors

Engineers from Saarland University are developing intelligent motor systems that function without the need for additional sensors. By essentially transforming the motor itself into a sensor, the team led by Professor Matthias Nienhaus is creating smart motors that can tell whether they are still running smoothly, can communicate and interact... Details →


The European Parliament has release an analysis of the Industry 4.0 Initiative—the digitalization of production processes based on devices autonomously communicating with each other along the value chain. It considers the potential of the initiative and business paradigm changes and impacts of this transformation. The study assesses the rationale for... Details →


DOE announces $70M for Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing; advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling for manufacturing

The US Department of Energy announced up to $70 million in funding (DE-FOA-0001263) for the next Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will be focused on smart manufacturing. With this investment, the DOE aims to support research and development advancements that can reduce the cost of deployment for technologies such... Details →


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