Virtual Commissioning of Factory Floor Automation: The New Paradigm in Vehicle Manufacturing 2010-01-0013
Never in the history of the automotive industry has it been more critical for automakers to prove that they are capable of producing vehicles efficiently and cost-effectively. In the coming months and years there will be a growing requirement for lean product design and manufacturing strategies that will re-shape the way the automotive suppliers and OEMs conduct business.
Computer-aided-design and manufacturing have become commonplace in automotive product design and manufacturing processes. These technologies enable efficiencies and quality improvements through virtual simulation and testing of kinematic designs. However, to date, there has been no ability to incorporate the process controls into these simulations.
Vehicle introductions require new manufacturing processes and equipment which is typically outsourced by the OEMs to a supplier. Equipment, such as large welding and assembly lines, are built and tested at the supplier facility then disassembled, shipped, reassembled, and retested on the OEM floor. This process is cumbersome, expensive and increases the total time required to complete a project.
This paper will describe a paradigm shift taking place in the development of automotive assembly systems. Using a new technology that enables engineers to build a replica of production equipment and processes in an interactive 3D virtual environment - complete with mechanical, electric, hydraulic and pneumatic systems- the manufacturing process can be commissioned weeks or months before launch and with higher quality