As a pillar industry in Germany, the automobile industry is also improving in the promotion of digitalization.Volkswagen group is also exploring innovation in digitization.
Hezman, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group (China), once said: "'Industry 4.0' is a very integrated concept, including digital processes and artificial intelligence. Digital and artificial intelligence are integrated into every aspect of the Volkswagen Group's day-to-day business operations. Including R&D, sales, personnel management, procurement, and production processes. 'Industry 4.0' runs through every step from design to production."
Even in the Chinese market, the Volkswagen Group has not relaxed its exploration of digitalization and intelligence. According to Hezman, the Chinese market will play a very important role in the digitalization of the group. One of the three global future centers of the Volkswagen Group has settled in Beijing. The center will serve as a bridge to connect automotive design and production, and combine production and design to carry out research and development in some of China and Asia.
Heizman even said that the most advanced and productive factory in the Volkswagen Group's production system is in China, not in Wolfsburg. After all, one of the benchmarks of the two “Smart Factory” projects of the Volkswagen Group is the FAW-Volkswagen Foshan plant in China.
Planning production capacity of 600,000 units, pure electric vehicles will go offline next year
FAW-Volkswagen Foshan Factory is located in Shizhen, Haikou District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province. It covers an area of 1.663 million square meters and is implemented step by step in Phase I and Phase II. The first phase covers an area of 100,300 square meters and the planned construction area is 455,000 square meters. The annual production capacity is 300,000 vehicles, the leading products are new golf, new golf GTI, new golf • Jia Brigade, Audi A3 Sportback, Audi A3 Limousine five models.
As of May 31, 2018, the Foshan plant had completed 109,566 units and produced a total of 1,178,796 vehicles. It is estimated that by 2020, the Foshan plant will have two production lines and 10 models. By then, the entire Foshan base will have a capacity of 600,000 units and a maximum capacity of 770,000 units.
The second phase of the project was officially laid in May 2014. By 2020, the total investment in the second phase will be approximately RMB 10 billion. After the project is completed, it will have an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles and produce the latest products and the latest technology of energy vehicles from Volkswagen and Audi.
At present, the first SUV model of the FAW-Volkswagen brand T-ROC has been officially launched in April this year. The domestic Audi Q2 will also be launched in August this year. In the future, the above two models will be put into production on the production line of the second phase of the FAW-Volkswagen Foshan plant.
In addition, in order to put into production of electric vehicles, the second phase of the FAW-Volkswagen Foshan plant will also build a dedicated platform for electric vehicles, also known as the Volkswagen MEB platform. At that time, the golf pure electric e-Golf and the Audi Q2 pure electric version will also be put into production at this factory.
It is understood that some e-Golf and Q2 electric version of the trial car has been off the assembly line, it is expected that the e-Golf production version will be officially downline in the second phase of the plant next year.
Starting in the "digital factory", "smart factory" is a three-step process
In FAW-Volkswagen's view, intelligent manufacturing is based on a new generation of information technology, which runs through all aspects of manufacturing activities such as technology, production, management, and service. .It is a general term for advanced manufacturing processes, systems, and models wihch have capabilities such as information depth self-perception, smart optimization self-decision, and precise control self-execution. The "smart factory" is built to achieve the improvement of production efficiency, product quality, management efficiency and decline of operational costs, operational risks, and delivery cycle risks through intelligent manufacturing.
To reach the “smart factory” stage, three steps are required. The first step is “digital factory”, the second is “cognitive factory”, and the third step is to truly realize “smart factory”. In the “digital factory” phase, technology can only integrate, sense and record information; in the “cognitive factory” phase, technical means can conduct business insight, forecast and improvement based on data, and optimize processes. By the "smart factory" stage, online, offline and production data can be integrated, and truly differentiated services and differentiated production are realized.
Of course, smart manufacturing is only part of the “smart factory”. In addition to smart manufacturing, the plant will also achieve transparent management, cost reduction and efficiency improvement through intelligent supply chain, and achieve environmental friendliness and energy efficiency through the creation of green parks. It can also achieve humanized and efficient collaboration through smart communities.
Information integration and decision support are supported through intelligent visualization.
On the road to the “Smart Factory”, the FAW-Volkswagen Foshan plant is currently partially digitized, such as VR technology for new energy vehicle training, electronic implementation with truck card, vehicle repair for final assembly, intelligent conference room control, and welding equipment beat analysis platform, automotive automation technology MR training, workshop equipment maintenance smart glasses assistant.
The large number of applications of robots has played a key role in the process of automation and digitization of FAW-Volkswagen. The automation rate has reached more than 80%, greatly improving production efficiency and production quality.
In the future, the FAW-Volkswagen Foshan plant will also create an unmanned stamping shop, a tool-sharing welding shop, a digital painting shop management system, a repair shop, a repair platform, a smart logistics, a park monitoring and energy efficiency management system. Develope towards a more digital and intelligent direction.