OEM : Automotive
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The Power of Predictive Maintenance
“Getting to the level of predictive maintenance is an evolutionary process for manufacturers, regardless of their specialty,” notes Will Healy III, global business strategy manager at Balluff Inc. “Right now, there is great interest in retrofitting equipment with sensors to perform condition monitoring as a means to implement predictive maintenance. The next step is using equipment with integrated smart sensors and artificial intelligence. These technologies also enable prescriptive maintenance, which uses machine learning to help companies specifically adjust their operating conditions for desired production outcomes.”
One of the first robotic predictive maintenance applications of the IIoT occurred several years ago in the auto industry when General Motors teamed up with Cisco and FANUC America Corp. to launch a zero downtime program. Called ZDT, the predictive analytics service identifies potential failures so engineers and plant managers can schedule maintenance and repairs. This prevents unexpected breakdowns during production, thereby saving manufacturers time and money. According to Tuohy, the ZDT program has proven to be quite successful over the last several years. He says that about 30,000 robots worldwide are connected to the system.
UVeye Enters into Strategic Collaboration with General Motors to Expand Technology to Global Dealerships
UVeye, a provider of advanced vehicle diagnostic systems, today announced that it has received an investment from the capital venture arm of General Motors, GM Ventures, to help fund the development and commercialization of the company’s vehicle inspection technology.
As part of the strategic collaboration agreement, the two companies have agreed to work on a variety of vehicle-inspection technology projects involving used-car auctions, fleet operations and automotive dealership sales. In the future, UVeye plans to incorporate electric-vehicle and autonomous-driving platforms into its inspection databases as well.
GM Buying Out SoftBank's $2.1 Billion Stake in Cruise Self-Driving Cars
American automaker General Motors announced Friday it is acquiring SoftBank’s $2.1 billion stake in its autonomous car venture Cruise. In addition, GM will chip in another $1.35 billion investment to cover a commitment made in 2018 by the Vision Fund of SoftBank, a Japanese telecom giant. The Detroit firm has ramped up its investments in autonomous technology and its build-out of electric vehicle capacity as it looks to curb emissions and engage in a technology race with Tesla and other self-driving ventures.
Missing Chips Snarl Car Production at Factories Worldwide
Semiconductor shortages may persist throughout the first half as chipmakers adjust their operations, researcher IHS Market predicted on Dec. 23. Automakers will start to see component supply gradually ease in the next two to three months, China Passenger Car Association, which groups the country’s largest carmakers, said Monday.
Chipmakers favor consumer-electronics customers because their orders are larger than those of automakers – the annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices, compared with fewer than 100 million cars. Automaking is also a lower-margin business, leaving manufacturers unwilling to bid up chip prices as they avoid risking their profitability.
How Ford, GM, FCA, and Tesla are bringing back factory workers
In the last week, factory employees have returned to work across the United States to make cars for the country’s four main auto manufacturers: Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Tesla. And each of those companies has published a plan showing how it will try to keep those workers from contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Those plans largely take the same shape. They’re presented in glossy PDF pamphlets, each starting with a letter to employees from the respective company’s highest-ranking executive overseeing workplace safety. Like any corporate document, they occasionally get bogged down with platitudes. But they all largely describe a lot of the same basic precautions, including supplying employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks or enforcing physical distancing of at least six feet.
How GM and Ford switched out pickup trucks for breathing machines
In the most severe cases of COVID-19, a patient’s lungs become so inflamed and full of fluid that they no longer deliver enough oxygen to the bloodstream to keep that person alive. One way to counteract this is by using a ventilator, which helps the patient’s lungs operate while the rest of the body fights off the virus.
As the spread of the new coronavirus bloomed into a pandemic, it became clear that there may not be enough ventilators in the United States (and around the world) to treat the coming wave of patients with these severe symptoms.