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Automobile manufacturing towards higher automation for optimized manufacturing

Automotive manufacturers have been facing a tough climate due to rising costs and stiff competition in the industry. Thus to be prudent, they are working on a strategy to refine and innovate their manufacturing processes that will make their projects financially profitable and improve their capabilities to face the dynamically demanding market in terms of supply, time, technologies and logistics.

From the current manufacturing processes, the industry is working towards the age of Digitalization in Production planning / manufacturing. This leads to higher productivity and output without increasing human intervention. Newer technologies like Magnesium Hot Forming, Liquid Hot Isostatic pressing or Plasma Spray coating are being adopted. Body in white and powertrain manufacturing are being given utmost priority for innovative technologies and processes integration.

It’s the age of Robots which is playing a very crucial role in automation of the process of body assembly as they improve production volumes and maintain consistency in quality and precision when compared to humans. This has lead to 95pcent automation in the body in white assembly. A major reason that has lead to increased inclination towards robots is the factory worker’s safety as this reduces physical hazards.

OEMs are working on strategies to focus on weight reduction which means we would get to see lighter body with modular design. This would bring in changes in the manufacturing processes as suppliers will produce efficient and lighter machines which can be easily moved along the assembly line and can work on different platforms. For example, laser welding is an important area of weight saving (22 per cent reduction in weight on the Up) and can be used to weld parts comprising different shapes and materials as well