When it comes to vehicle production, constant communication is key to efficiency. The more efficient a plant runs, the less an automaker will spend for correcting any possible hiccups on the line. Volkswagen's solution to making communications faster is by going to the cloud, the Industrial Cloud, that is.
Volkswagen believes that the Industrial Cloud can improve their productivity by approximately 30 percent. Not only that, they also believe they can save on costs totaling several billion Euros when the data of all 124 plants can be evaluated in a standardized way. But you're probably wondering how can a cloud network save automaker billions?
Volkswagen says that one of the focuses of this whole Industrial Cloud is predictive maintenance. The cloud system will be placed in machines and robots that revolve around the assembly line. With that in place, these robots then continuously send data to the cloud. From there, the company will know which machine might need service even before a possible fault is detected. The less downtime a piece of equipment needs, the more efficient a plant runs.
At the moment, three assembly lines have the Industrial Cloud in place. These are the Wolfsburg and Chemnitz lines in Germany, and the Polkowice plant in Poland. Fifteen more plants will get the cloud communication system, all of which are located in Europe. The plants that will get the Industrial Cloud will include Brunswick, Emden, Hanover, Ingolstadt, Kassel, Leipzig, Neckarsulm, Salzgitter, Zuffenhausen and Zwickau in Germany.
Other factories that will also get the Industrial Cloud are Martorell in Spain, Palmela in Portugal, Györ in Hungary, along with Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabi in the Czech Republic. The Industrial Cloud will not only be utilized in Volkswagen plants, but it will also be used in Audi, Seat, and Skoda lines as well.
With Volkswagen utilizing cloud software, it might be the start of a new way for auto manufacturers to communicate with their respective plants. If anything, Volkswagen's initiative could even make cars more affordable as they cut production costs.