The Volkswagen Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant will be the first of three plants outside of Europe to connect to the Volkswagen Group and Amazon Web Services’ Industrial Cloud.
The Tennessee plant joins the Puebla and Silao, Mexico plants in joining the cloud, which is expected to allow the group to gather and analyze data on a real-time basis and help increase efficiency and productivity.
As early as spring 2021, the plants should be able to access standardized software applications that are available for all factories in the Volkswagen Group connected to the Industrial Cloud. The cloud will act much like an app store and is constantly expanding. Connected locations could go without costly and time-consuming individual IT developments and have access to tested, ready-to-use applications.
“This is a big and critical step for our digital transformation as we work to apply the knowledge gained from one of the largest vehicle production networks in the world to our facilities in the U.S. and Mexico,” said Johan de Nysschen, chief operating officer, Volkswagen Group of America. “We want to manufacture vehicles even more efficiently and sustainably, and the Industrial Cloud helps us do that.”
To date, the available applications on the Industrial Cloud focus on predictive maintenance of machines and systems. Chattanooga and Puebla plants will be able to optimize various maintenance cycles by analyzing streams of data, which can help reduce downtime in vehicle manufacturing processes, and can result in lower costs.
Another advantage is the reduction of potential rework on vehicles through the use of algorithms. At the Chattanooga plant, the use of a shop floor reporting system is being tested, which can enable the factory to increase machine utilization by recognizing potential disturbance variables before they occur.
“By bringing the individual know-how of the locations into our Industrial Cloud Initiative, we can optimize their production processes and at the same time, expand the scope of high-performance applications available for all factories more quickly,” said Susanne Lehmann, senior director production NAR, Volkswagen de Mexico, and responsible for onboarding the North American plants.
The Industrial Cloud will ultimately link all of the Volkswagen Group’s global factories, and, in a second step, its suppliers, simplifying the exchange of data across systems and plants.