Electric vehicle sales in the United States last year reached nearly 200,000, a more than 25 percent jump from 2016. In China, 770,000 electric vehicles were sold, a more than 50 percent increase from the previous year.
The growing consumer demand for electric vehicles is pressuring brand owners and suppliers to shift processes and technology to serve these changing market needs. For automakers, the race is on to accelerate electric vehicle production with smart, flexible operations and integrated automation solutions.
Accelerate your Time to Market
To claim a share of the fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) market, you need to get to market as fast as possible. You need a comprehensive production strategy. One that helps you produce vehicles quickly, at the highest quality, with minimal risk.
An integrated automation architecture lays the foundation to bring Industry 4.0 concepts to life. It helps you access the right information at the right time to make important operational decisions. It also enables easy integration of equipment into your plant and swift reaction to market demands.
An integrated architecture uses control and information systems that share a common network, control platform, data structures and design environment. A single network, for example, can seamlessly connect your plant systems to each other and to the rest of your enterprise. While common, standardized data structures can help you more easily pull data from across your operations and turn it into actionable information for workers.
On this foundation you can deploy smart technologies and capabilities that can help your EV operations run faster and with more flexibility. Some solutions to consider include:
Scalable Infrastructure: These offerings can help converge your networks, connect your plant and business systems and give your workers access to information to make better decisions. Scalable infrastructure offerings can be especially valuable when your operations are starting small or if you have time, talent or budgetary constraints.
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), for example, can reduce the burden of designing, deploying and maintaining a network infrastructure. It also can shift your network’s costs from a capital expense to an operating expense. IaaS combines pre-engineered network solutions, on-site configuration and 24/7 remote monitoring into a single contract. It uses best-in-class technologies and architectures and can help optimize the performance, efficiency and uptime of your network architecture.
Independent Cart Technology (ICT): Systems build with this technology will be a game changer in electric-vehicle production. They offer the potential of higher line speeds and reduced downtime, which can help you get to market faster.
Independent cart technology allows a brand owner to move small components, or even full car bodies, around a plant faster and more precisely than conventional mechanical solutions. This can help you speed up production in a traditional body shop or in areas such as battery cell and pack production, where high-speed conveyance has proven to be a challenge.
You can change the functions of systems using ICT with the push of a button to achieve fast changeovers. These systems also have fewer moving parts, which can reduce maintenance needs and improving uptime.
Scalable Manufacturing Execution System (MES): Individual MES applications can help you understand and manage production, without investing in a full MES software package.
The applications address specific challenges, such as quality, machine performance, or genealogy and track and trace. You can start at the machine or work-area level with a single application and minimal infrastructure requirements. You can add other applications or scale up to an integrated-MES solution as you grow production and realize return on investment (ROI).