Electric vehicle companies are operating in top gear to turn prototypes into road-ready offerings and get in front of a growing field of competitors. But in the race to get to market today, companies should also think about how they’re going to meet another challenge down the road – drastically greater demand.
Electric vehicles may represent less than 3% of all new vehicle sales today. But by 2040, it’s estimated that almost 60% of all new vehicles sold will be electric.
Quite simply, if you can position your operations to keep up with this demand – and with electric-vehicle technology changes – you will be positioned for success. One way you can do this is by creating smart, scalable and flexible operations that are as nimble as they are productive.
Ready, set, grow
By creating agile and resilient operations, you can gain the ingenuity you need now and be prepared for growth in the future.
A key component are scalable information solutions that turn raw production data into useful insights. You can deploy these solutions to address your specific needs today, and then scale them up to grow with your operations and address more needs over time.
For example, scalable analytics software can be deployed from the edge to the cloud to get the insights you need, as you need them. Today, your focus may be on applying analytics to improve efficiencies and deliver quality vehicles by tracking products, personnel and systems in your production process.
Eventually, as demand grows, you can expand your use of analytics. That could mean using analytics software with machine-learning capabilities to optimize processes, streamline your supply chains and predict machine failures.
MES/MOM applications can also address specific manufacturing challenges, and grow with your operations and their needs. You may want to start with a quality application to track, identify and alert you of machine or operator deviations, and later scale up to an enterprise MES software.
Design for flexibility
Whether your operations need to pivot to new powertrain technology, changing automotive trends or new regulations, your control solutions should enhance your ability to respond, not inhibit it.
A smart servo press allows you to configure as many motion profiles as you need. It also gives you the freedom to use the right motor type from the right motor supplier to get the specific speed, torque load or other characteristics required for your application.
Additionally, motion-control systems that use independent cart technology can help you more easily respond to demand and technology changes. Using software-configured move profiles, these systems can change functions with the push of a button to speed up changeovers and reduce downtime. They can also move small components or even full car bodies around a plant faster and more precisely than conventional mechanical solutions.
Stay productive through changes
Disruptive technologies can help you manage through change by improving decision making and maximizing efficiencies.
With a digital twin – or a digital replica of your product, process or plant – you can test new products and configurations before you physically implement them to reduce downtime risks.
And with knowledge-capture tools that leverage augmented-reality (AR) technology, you can capture step-by-step work instructions and share them across the enterprise to help cut training time, increase operator effectiveness and maintain compliance. Experienced operators can record procedures, note relevant locations and highlight key safety precautions. Then, new operators can use this recording in an AR environment to learn on the job.
Are you ready?
Whether you’re launching a new plant or transforming an existing one, learn more about how you can be ready for the future with highly flexible and connected electric vehicle production operations.
Published March 1, 2021