May 17, 2020

The future of smart factories in the automotive industry

Supply Chain
Technology
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Aerial view of road network
Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at the use of technology in the automotive industry, following Capgemini’s report on smart factories.

The re...

Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at the use of technology in the automotive industry, following Capgemini’s report on smart factories.

The report conducted by Capgemini, predicts that automotive companies could see an increase in investment levels and productivity gains as a result of smart factories.

Key takeaways from the report: 

The automotive industry is exceeding expectations. In the last 18-24 months, 30% of factories have been converted into smart factories. Dr. Seshu Bhagavatula, President, New Technologies and Business Initiatives at Ashok Leyland explains that “There are three primary reasons why we took up the smart factory initiative.”

  • To improve the productivity of old factories through modernising and digitising operations

  • To improve the quality issues that are difficult for human beings to detect

  • To incorporate made-to-order or mass-customisation capabilities

On top of this current progress within the industry, automotive companies have an aggressive plan to convert another 44% of its factories into smart factories. In addition to converting 42% in discrete manufacturing, 41% in process industries, 40% in power, energy and utilities, and 37% in consumer products.

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Overall, by 2023 it is estimated that smart factories could deliver a productivity gain of US$135bn (with an optimistic scenario of US$167bn). This totals as an annual improvement of 2.8-4.4% alongside a productivity gain of 15.1-24.1%. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz Cars are seeing the benefits of smart factories, achieving a fourfold reduction in rejection rates for some of its components. 

However, currently 72% of firms are ranked as novices when it comes to the adoption of smart factories. With only 10% ready to benefit from full scale smart factories. Reflecting on the industry, Markus Winkler, Global Head of the Automotive Sector at Capgemini, highlights the next steps the industry needs to take in order to truly see the benefits of smart factories. “Automotive companies have progressed better on their smart factory initiatives in the last two years and clearly plan to increase the pace of adoption from here onwards. However to get there, auto firms must address gaps in the talent pool, technology strategy and organisational commitment to deploy at scale, and realise the full benefits offered by smart factories. While smart factories are a critical part of the Intelligent Industry, OEMs and suppliers must also focus on smart operations including smart asset management, smart supply chain and service management to completely unlock the potential of the various technologies.”

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking and pre

Intelliwave
APTIM
3 min
Barry Peyton, Business Development and Strategic Partnership Manager at Intelliwave Technologies, outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits fo

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.

 

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