Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for General Assembly 2011-01-1253
The current challenges of the automotive industry illustrate the importance of a clear picture for an innovative, next generation General Assembly, supported by a roadmap for future oriented advanced manufacturing technologies.
Based on the profound analysis of the existing technology portfolio a vision of a desired state of a future oriented lean assembly plant is developed. This paper defines the gap for needed technology, explains the criteria for future assembly technology and describes the roadmaps to accomplish the vision of next generation General Assembly.
The strategies are explained and some projects will be shown as example for the roadmaps to increase the competitiveness.
The current economical crisis led to a drop of production volume up to 50%. This disclosed that current assembly plants are not set up for volume flexibility. Line speed changes require massive changes in process and assembly operations. Quick changes in market demand need to be better considered in advanced assembly technology and lean material supply methods.
Also, reduction of assembly time is essential to reduce cost per car, which will require innovative manufacturing technologies and machines.
These challenges are approached with a structured, strategic approach which considers both technological innovations as well as optimization of the development process of the production equipment. This is accomplished by transferring lean methods and tools from production into engineering. This innovative, lean engineering approach will shorten development times and reduce engineering expenses.
The paper identifies key areas for the development of future assembly and assembly technologies to increase the competitiveness of future lean assembly plants in Europe.