I’m always searching for articles to gather information to share with you regarding Industry 4.0 and other topics. Two weeks ago I mentioned how Porsche and Bugatti are 3D printing brake calipers and replacement parts for their cars. This week, I want to share how Mercedes Benz is taking a holistic approach to Industry 4.0 technologies to integrate all their plants together and the savings they expect.
It is called MO360 (Mercedes Benz Car Operations) 360. MO360 is a suite of software applications that gathers and integrates real-time information to provide information to operators across a simple user interface. About 30 facilities worldwide are taking advantage of parts of the software.
What does Mercedes hope to gain?
1. Rapid software sprints
They use cross-functional teams with production and IT support to develop the software ecosystem. According to Daimler CIO- Jan Brecht- “Organizational boundaries no longer have a role to play. All teams systematically utilize continuous feedback from production to optimize and enhance digital tools.”
The sprints are two weeks long and focus on adding perceptible user benefits. According to Brecht “For software engineering in the field of production, that is an absolute record.”
2. Paperless manufacturing
Mercedes just opened a brand new factory in Sindelfingen, Germany. It is referred to as factory 56 and will the testbed for everything Mercedes does regarding MO360.
The factory is designed with 5G mobile technology built-in so that all sensors, equipment, and systems can communicate with each other. The system knows by the inch the location of each vehicle in the factory.
Operators use a digital information system that gives them the information they need to work on the vehicle in front of them. All inspection forms are completed digitally. It’s estimated this will save 10M tons of paper annually!
3. Real-time quality information
Mercedes is using a system called Quality Live inside of MO360 that gives employees push-button real-time quality status of any vehicle. Any non-conformances are taken care of before the car reaches the end of the assembly line.
MO360 monitors quality issues and using Artificial Intelligence, offers process improvements based upon analyzing the quality data.
The MO360 system provides up to the minute KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) so production leaders can react to what is happening on the production line. Adjustments to schedules, sequences, etc. are shared instantly with suppliers.
When all plants throughout the world connect to MO360, the system will monitor and learn from maintenance occurrences. The system will offer predictive maintenance and plan the maintenance outage for an optimal time.
As an example, as the system learns that a motor driving a conveyor belt fails after 50,000 hours, it can schedule replacements throughout the system and keep the correct number of motors on hand for replacement. This helps save MRO spend on this huge organization.
I hope enjoyed learning how Mercedes Benz is taking a holistic approach to Industry 4.0! I know I like bringing you this information.
As always, it’s an honor to serve you, and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little better today.
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