Industry 4.0 in the automotive sector

To speak of 4.0 technology is to speak of the fourth industrial revolution; if we look back in time, the invention of the steam engine and the automation of factory work speak of a first industrial revolution. The second came with assembly line production, spearheaded by the American automobile industry through Henry Ford and the iconic "Ford Model T". The third revolution, now closer, comes with the conjunction of the advance of communications technologies together with the development and use of the Internet and renewable energies.

And since innovation does not stop, we are facing the fourth industrial revolution, where hyperconnectivity, the industrial internet of things, artificial intelligence, Big Data, cloud computing, collaborative robotics, use of 3D printers, cybersecurity, virtual reality and augmented reality, among other pillars of technology 4.0, play a central role in the transformation of production processes in order to make them more efficient.

Based on the above, digital convergence between industrial components, business components and internal company processes is essential.

Industry 4.0 in the automotive sector represents a total evolution that begins with a digital transformation where new technologies are enabling to boost the country's development.

It is worth mentioning that the automotive sector, since its inception, is a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies and is currently leading the industry 4.0, adopting technologies such as:

  • Artificial intelligence to develop autonomous cars,
  • Machine learning to improve the efficiency of your factories,
  • 3D printing to create new components and parts for your cars and prototypes,
  • virtual reality to enhance the customer shopping experience, and
  • Robotics, not only in the incorporation of machinery for manufacturing, but also in the creation of tools such as exoskeletons, which are artificial structures used externally to the human body in order to support or replace repetitive, risky or precision tasks.

On the other hand, in the consumer market, there is a growing demand for better, cheaper and safer cars, and this is where innovation comes into play.


Benefits of Industry 4.0 for the automotive sector

As we mentioned earlier, there is a close relationship between the automotive sector and Industry 4.0 and it is constantly evolving, bringing with it numerous benefits.

Some of the most outstanding benefits are:

Increased production efficiency

The implementation of technologies such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence have made it possible to optimize has made it possible to optimize manufacturing processes, reducing production times and improving not only the quality of the products, but also the quality of the products but also the quality of the processes.

These changes would not be as effective without the integration of a tool to extract data from the processes and provide us with useful information, in real time, for decision making. From MESbookwe guarantee the improvement in productivity by means of:

Precise planning and scheduling: In the automotive industry where production is often highly sequential and dependent on precision timing, helps to plan and schedule production accurately. Ensuring that the different production operations are performed in the right order and at the right time, ensuring that both machinery and personnel are efficiently occupied, reducing downtime and increasing overall plant productivity.

Reduced downtime: By providing real-time visibility into the status of machines and processes, our company enables early detection of problems and faster response time. Minimizing unplanned downtime, which, in turn, increases production and contributes to lower costs.

Production optimization: Allows visualization of machine speed and resource allocation according to changing production needs. Ensuring efficient workflow and constant production.

Efficient labor management: at can manage personnel efficiently, assigning tasks based on worker availability. This ensures that each operator is contributing to the best of his or her ability.

Vehicle customization

Industry 4.0 has facilitated vehicle customization, allowing manufacturers to offer a greater variety of options and configurations available to the market. This has resulted in increased customer satisfaction and sales.

Supply chain improvement

Industry 4.0 has enabled greater connectivity and collaboration between the different players in the supply chain, leading to improved inventory management, allowing for more efficient coordination with parts and components suppliersensuring a just-in-time just-in-time supply and minimizing minimizing the risk of material shortages, which ultimately leads to increased production ultimately leading to increased production efficiency and reduced costs.

Predictive maintenance

Using the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturers can collect real-time data on vehicle performance and anticipate potential problems or breakdowns. This enables predictive maintenance and reduced downtime.

Quality improvement

Industry 4.0 has made it possible to develop a system of constant quality monitoring throughout the entire manufacturing process in the automotive industry. This includes the inspection of components, assemblies and finishes. Early detection of quality problems prevents the production of defective vehicles and ultimately saves rework and repair costs.

Integrating MESbookThis improvement translated in terms of Quality is mainly related to:

  • Real Time Quality Control: MESbook allows constant monitoring of product quality at all stages of the manufacturing process. If a quality problem is detected, the system can take immediate action, such as stopping the production line or directing the product to a rework station, thus reducing the production of defective parts and thereby improving quality.
  • Quality Data Register: MESbook systematically collects and stores detailed quality data in real time. This data provides a complete history of the quality of each product manufactured, facilitating the identification of recurring problems and the implementation of corrective actions.
  • From the analysis of these data we can derive a significant reduction in quality costsThe analysis of these data can lead to a significant reduction in quality costs by means of a statistical study of the processes and their defects, with the consequent rethinking of the quality controls necessary to guarantee the quality of the products without impacting on the costs of non-quality. costs of non-quality.
  • Claims and Returns Management: With the help of MESbook we can track quality issues reported by customers, which helps identify the root causes of problems and take preventive measures to avoid recurrence in future vehicles. This reduces the costs associated with claims and returns.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Having MESbook allows us to have at our disposal different types of production data, inspection and other relevant parameters that help us to identify the root cause of different quality problems, facilitating the resolution of problems and the implementation of permanent solutions.
  • Process Documentation: One of the most important collaborations to incorporate MESbook is that it allows us to generate electronic documentation of manufacturing procedures (WI, PFC, CP, etc) and quality specifications (Quality Ranges, Autocontrol, etc), ensuring that workers follow the standards and procedures established at the last level of updating, which reduces human errors and guarantees greater consistency in product quality and avoids non-conformities related to production documentation in audits. non-conformities related to production documentation in audits..
  • Continuous Improvement: MESbook provides valuable information for continuous improvement. The data collected allows the identification of quality trends and patterns, which assists in data-driven decision making to implement improvements in production processes and product quality.

Improved safety

The incorporation of new technologies such as sensors and artificial intelligence systems applied to vehicles has contributed to improving safety, reducing accidents and improving the detection of possible system failures.

In terms of Security, the incorporation of MESbook is mainly related to:

  • Quality Management and Process Control: MESbook provides real-time monitoring of all production activities, including inspection and quality control. This ensures that products meet established safety standards and that any defects that could affect safety are detected and corrected in a timely manner.
  • Compliance with Standards and Regulations: The automotive industry is subject to numerous safety rules and regulations. With MESbook we can help ensure compliance with these regulations by generating detailed documentation demonstrating that manufacturing procedures conform to these safety standards.
  • Traceability Management: MESbook records detailed traceability data for each product, which facilitates the identification of safety issues. In the event of a recall or service call, good traceability management makes it possible to locate and troubleshoot specific vehicles quickly and efficiently.
  • Predictive Maintenance: MESbook can help prevent safety problems by scheduling preventive maintenance of machinery and production equipment. This reduces the risk of unexpected failures that could jeopardize the safety of workers, tooling and affect product quality.

Challenges of the automotive industry

In the automotive sector, Industry 4.0 has made it possible to implement digitalization and automation at all stages of production, from vehicle design and development to manufacturing and marketing. This has led to the creation of smart factories, where production systems are interconnected and capable of autonomous decision-making.

In addition, Industry 4.0 has also driven the development of new business models in the automotive sector. business models in the automotive sector, such as carsharing and ridesharing, where vehicles are connected through digital platforms and shared among different users.

But despite all this, there are still some challenges ahead. For example:

The automotive industry is currently facing a number of challenges that are transforming the way vehicles are designed, manufactured and marketed. Some of the key challenges include:

  • Electrification: The growing interest in electric vehicles is forcing automotive companies to invest in more efficient battery technology and charging systems.
  • Connectivity: Cars are increasingly connected through infotainment systems, sensors and communication technology. However, this also opens the door to cybersecurity and data protection risks.
  • Automation: Autonomous driving technology promises to revolutionize the way cars are driven. However, there are challenges related to safety, legal liability and consumer acceptance.
  • Shared mobility: Ridesharing services are changing the way people use cars. This presents challenges for automakers who must adapt to new forms of ownership.
  • Environmental regulations: Stricter regulations on carbon emissions are driving automakers to develop cleaner and more efficient technologies. This will require significant investments.
  • Changes in consumer behavior: Consumers are increasingly interested in smaller, more efficient and customized vehicles. This has led to a shift in demand towards smaller, more economical cars, as well as electric vehicles and SUVs.
  • Global competition: The automotive industry is becoming increasingly global, with manufacturers from different countries competing with each other. This implies the need to adapt to different regulations and market preferences.

Despite all these challenges, the automotive industry remains an important driver of the global economy, and they are working to overcome these challenges and are preparing for the future of mobility.

That's why, at MESbook we wanted to adapt and offer within our software a wide variety of tools aimed at making Industry 4.0 and the automotive sector to move forward together. For example, we offer improved connectivity from the first steps of manufacturing itself.

With MESbook, the capture of digital data and their representation is automatic, so that, depending on the required demand, they can be transformed into new information capable of guiding companies to make intelligent business decisions at the operational and strategic level, instead of having reactive actions before unforeseen events as it happened in the past; that is, descriptive, predictive and diagnostic analysis allows to anticipate what is expected in the future to take advantage of, control or avoid certain situations that could change the destiny of any company.

At the same time, we create controls and KPIs that can help with current environmental regulations. And all of this in a standard tool that is perfectly adapted to the reality of all the automotive automotive factories. And of course, it offers tools that can be especially useful in electric car manufacturing.

Undoubtedly, our system will help your company compete in a growing industry.

Photo jose Nigro for blog

Product Manager and Quality Systems Engineer at MESbook

José Antonio Nigro

Responsible for the management and maintenance of the ISO 9001:2015 Standard and responsible for external and internal audits.

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