Mercedes-Benz is using a new digital production system in Tuscaloosa that it is looking to implement in its auto plants around the world.
MO360 uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology, along with artificial intelligence, to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date data picture of what is happening in vehicle production, company officials say. .
“It’s all about data,” said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for production and supply chain management. “We can already see high efficiency gains on assembly lines.”
MO360, which is already partially used in more than 30 factories around the world, is described as a digital ecosystem using hardware and software. The new Plant 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, which will open in September, uses the complete system. The idea is to use a platform that will track the production of individual vehicles on the line, providing real-time numbers, with the simplicity of a smartphone app.
To do this, it uses a single control software language – “Integra” – from sensors to production control.
“All teams systematically use continuous feedback from production to optimize and improve digital tools,” said Jan Brecht, chief information officer for parent company Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. “All teams systematically use continuous feedback from production to optimize and improve digital tools.”
For example, the system monitors production and control issues. If a problem develops on the production line, the system’s artificial intelligence can examine the problem, compare it with comparable information from other factories, and offer a solution to workers on the line.
“AI is not magic,” said Michael Goebel, President and CEO of MBUSI. “AI is basically recognizing patterns in a lot of data. We collect data on all quality incidents, and AI can find similar patterns in the past and infer the right step to mitigate. this problem. It is not only drawn from the individual experience of a person. The algorithm can draw on the experience of all factories.
Other aspects of MO360 include repairing or replacing equipment and improving logistics between factories. Another facet of the program is the paperless factory, where information, including quality checks, is given in digital form. The company estimates that this will save 10 tonnes of paper per year at the Sindelfingen plant alone.
Goebel said parts of the system, such as digital shop floor management, have already been implemented at the Tuscaloosa County plant.
The system can also be optionally integrated with automotive suppliers. Mercedes-Benz estimates that the system will increase production efficiency by more than 15% by 2022.
“We provide full digital support to every member of the production staff,” Burzer said.