Canvas Category OEM : Automotive

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Primary Location Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany

Financial Status ETR: VOW3

The Group comprises ten brands from five European countries: Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ŠKODA, SEAT, CUPRA, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and Ducati. In addition, the Volkswagen Group offers a wide range of further brands and business units including financial services. Volkswagen Financial Services comprises dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance activities, and fleet management.

Assembly Line

10 cobots guarantee ‘just in time’ manufacture of gearboxes

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🔖 Topics: Cobot, Autonomous Mobile Robot, JIT

🏢 Organizations: SEAT Componentes, Universal Robots, Movvo, Volkswagen

Gearbox manufacturer SEAT Componentes needed to automate the unloading of 18,000 machined gears a day at its plant in Spain to guarantee the quality of the parts. The company integrated 10 collaborative robots from Universal Robots using only internal resources.

This formula made it possible for SEAT to keep know-how on cobot configuration in-house, eliminating extra programming and maintenance costs. The do-it-yourself installation was done without changing the existing factory layout, allowing new applications to be configured in less than 1 hour. As a result, the company has reduced errors, improved worker safety, and now has a team prepared to take on new automation projects.

Read more at The Robot Robot

Audi drives the future of manufacturing

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✍️ Author: Kevin Delany

🔖 Topics: Partnership, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: Cisco, Audi, Volkswagen

The production of the Audi e-tron GT illustrates what’s possible in this new paradigm. It went from design to production in record time — without a physical prototype.

Virtual reality prototypes are just the beginning. Thousands of assets in the Böllinger Höfe plant operate under the aegis of Audi’s Edge Cloud 4 Production (EC4P), with critical networking and security support from Cisco. And by connecting “brownfield” legacy hardware — that is, existing devices like cameras, robots, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and field busses — the transformation did not demand a complete factory overhaul. It did, however, benefit from the efforts of Cisco’s Customer Experience team to bring the vision to life.

“Audi and Cisco shared the vision of getting rid of the compute hardware from the shop floor and virtualizing it,” Loeser concluded. “That’s one of the big reasons why we are actually deploying this today.

Read more at Cisco Newsroom

The Blueprint for Industrial Transformation: Building a Strong Data Foundation with AWS IoT SiteWise

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✍️ Authors: Sophie Pagalday, Sharon Allpress, Jan Borch, David Castro

🔖 Topics: IIoT, OPC-UA, MQTT, Modbus, Cloud Computing, IT OT Convergence

🏢 Organizations: AWS, Volkswagen

AWS IoT SiteWise is a managed service that makes it easy to collect, organize, and analyze data from industrial equipment at scale, helping customers make better, data-driven decisions. Our customers such as Volkswagen Group, Coca-Cola İçecek, and Yara International have used AWS IoT SiteWise to build industrial data platforms that allow them to contextualize and analyze Operational Technology (OT) data generated across their plants, creating a global view of their operations and businesses. In addition, our AWS Partners such as Embassy of Things (EOT), Tata Consulting Services (TCS) Edge2Web, TensorIoT, and Radix Engineering have made AWS IoT SiteWise the foundation for purpose-built applications that enable use cases such as predictive maintenance and asset performance monitoring. Through these engagements with customers and partners, we have learned that the main obstacles in scaling digital transformation initiatives include project complexity, infrastructure costs, and time to value.

With newly added APIs, AWS IoT SiteWise now allows you to bulk import, export, and update industrial asset model metadata at scale from diverse systems such as data historians, other AWS accounts, or – in the case of AWS Independent Software Vendors (ISV) Partners – their own industrial data modeling tools.

To collect real-time data from equipment, AWS IoT SiteWise provides AWS IoT SiteWise Edge, software created by AWS and deployed on premises to make it easy to collect, organize, process, and monitor equipment at the edge. With SiteWise Edge, customers can securely connect to and read data from equipment using industrial protocols and standards such as OPC-UA. In collaboration with AWS Partner Domatica, we recently added support for an additional 10 industrial protocols including MQTT, Modbus, and SIMATIC S7, diversifying the type of data that can be ingested into AWS IoT SiteWise from equipment, machines, and legacy systems for processing at the edge or enriching your industrial data lake. By ingesting data to the cloud with sub-second latency, customers can use AWS IoT SiteWise to monitor hundreds of thousands of high-value assets across their industrial operations in near real time.

Read more at AWS Blog

Big Automakers Grab $1 Billion Deal for Urgently Needed Battery Metals

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✍️ Author: Amirth Ramkumar

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Volkswagen, Stellantis, Glencore

Volkswagen and Jeep maker Stellantis are each committing $100 million in a complicated transaction that will create a publicly traded mining company producing nickel and copper from two Brazilian mines that run on hydropower.

They are joining with a special-purpose acquisition company run by a well-known mining executive who hopes to do more deals to build a large battery-metals company. Mining giant Glencore is also putting in $100 million and has agreed to turn the nickel and copper from the mines into battery-grade material at processing facilities in Western Europe and North America that would qualify for subsidies in the U.S. and Europe.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Conveyor-Less Micro Factories for Urban Car Production

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✍️ Author: Seog-Chan Oh

🏭 Vertical: Automotive

🏢 Organizations: Arrival, eGo Mobile, Volkswagen

The automobile manufacturing value chain consists of a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly. The assembly process is different from other processes in terms of automation. The level of automation in press shops, body shops and paint shops is usually very high. Many are nearly 100 percent automated. However, final assembly is difficult to automate due to the complexity of the tasks and diversity of the parts.

One way to achieve mass individualization while maintaining various automation levels is to decouple final assembly from the value chain. The press shop, body shop and paint shop would continue as mass production centers in central locations, while final assembly would be carried out in separate micro factories located in urban areas. The assembly process does not need to be physically located with the other manufacturing processes. Instead, it can be moved to an urban area where the labor supply is elastic. Low-volume, high-mix production can be realized with this model.

An urban automotive assembly plant should be designed for maximum flexibility, minimal capital investment and asynchronous production. That points away conveyors and favors autonomous transport technologies. Two options are available: autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and VaaC. AMRs are vehicles that are equipped with on-board sensors to autonomously move vehicles or materials along predefined paths without the need for magnetic tapes on the floor. In VaaC, the EV guides itself through the assembly process. A sensor skid, temporarily attached under the EV, guides the EV based on local sensing and communication with a high-level fleet management system. The skid is designed to be easily removed at the end of the assembly. The skid body has a set of pins that temporarily engage with locating holes in the underbody. The skid is equipped with numerous sensors that detect objects around the EV.

Read more at Assembly Magazine

Volkswagen to take 60% stake in $2 bln tech JV with China's Horizon Robotics

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🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: Volkswagen, Horizon Robotics, Cariad

Volkswagen’s software unit Cariad will spend more than $2 billion and take a 60% stake in a new venture with Chinese technology firm Horizon Robotics, it said on Thursday, tackling two big challenges: software and the Chinese market. The carmaker will invest $1 billion in Horizon Robotics and a further 1.3 billion euros ($1.26 billion) in the joint venture, with the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2023.

Together the companies will develop technology that can integrate numerous functions for autonomous driving onto a single chip that will be available only in China. In contrast to the partnership with Qualcomm, Volkswagen’s software unit Cariad will play an active role in developing the chip technology with Horizon Robotics, and the know-how will be shared across the Volkswagen Group, the carmaker’s China chief Ralf Brandstaetter said.

Read more at Reuters

How Volkswagen and Google Cloud are using machine learning to design more energy-efficient cars

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🔖 Topics: Generative Design, Sustainability

🏭 Vertical: Automotive

🏢 Organizations: Volkswagen, Google

Volkswagen strives to design beautiful, performant, and energy efficient vehicles. This entails an iterative process where designers go through many design drafts, evaluating each, integrating the feedback, and refining. For example, a vehicle’s drag coefficient—its resistance to air—is one of the most important factors of energy efficiency. Thus, getting estimates of the drag coefficient for several designs helps the designers experiment and converge toward more energy-efficient solutions. The cheaper and faster this feedback loop is, the more it enables the designers.

This joint research effort between Volkswagen and Google has produced promising results with the help of the Vertex AI platform. In this first milestone, the team was able to successfully bring recent AI research results a step closer to practical application for car design. This first iteration of the algorithm can produce a drag coefficient estimate with an average error of just 4%, within a second. An average error of 4%, while not quite as accurate as a physical wind tunnel test, can be used to narrow a large selection of design candidates to a small shortlist. And given how quickly the estimates appear, we have made a substantial improvement on the existing methods that take days or weeks. With the algorithm that we have developed, designers can run more efficiency tests, submit more candidates, and iterate towards richer, more effective designs in just a small fraction of the time previously required.

Read more at Google Cloud Blog

24M Technologies Finalizes Deal With Volkswagen Group to Partner on Next-Gen EV Battery Manufacturing

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🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: 24M Technologies, Volkswagen

24M Technologies, Inc. (24M) today announced it has closed its deal with Volkswagen Group (VWAG). Through the strategic partnership VWAG will manufacture next-generation lithium-ion EV batteries using the 24M SemiSolid™ platform for use in VWAG electric vehicles (EVs). VWAG acquired a 25% stake in 24M and will establish a wholly owned subsidiary that will, in cooperation with 24M, develop a SemiSolidTM battery cell production technology for automotive applications.

VWAG invested a three digit millions of U.S. dollars in 24M’s Series F funding round and will make additional investments promoting automotive developments based on the 24M core technology. Additionally, Dr. Steffen Blase, Head of Group Mergers & Acquisitions at Volkswagen AG, will join 24M’s Board of Directors.

“The SemiSolidTM manufacturing platform offers the potential to substantially reduce capital and operating costs,” commented Dr. Blase. “Through our newly established subsidiary and our strategic partnership with 24M, we are focused on bringing the SemiSolidTM platform to automotive applications and believe we can develop cost effective processes to meet the increasing demand for EVs.”

“Through strategic partnerships with energy innovators like GPSC, Kyocera, AXXIVA, Lucas TVS, FREYR, Koch Strategic Platforms and now VWAG, 24M has built an ecosystem to rapidly scale the SemiSolidTM manufacturing platform and develop a better, cleaner energy future,” says 24M President and CEO, Naoki Ota. “Our collaborative partnership with VWAG will help significantly expand the global reach of SemiSolidTM batteries and help fast track electric vehicle adoption.”

Read more at Business Wire

Missing Chips Snarl Car Production at Factories Worldwide

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✍️ Author: Debby Wu

🏭 Vertical: Automotive

🏢 Organizations: Aptiv, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infineon, NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Electronics, Toyota, TSMC, Volkswagen

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.

Read more at Bloomberg (Paid)