The automotive industry has been a successful industry for many years. It is an industry with high delivery requirements and often tight margins. In order to stay profitable in the automotive industry and meet the customers’ ever higher demands, effective and well-functioning automated production flow solutions are key. This is the first part of two in my article series about the automotive industry and its use of automated production.
One of the world’s oldest manufacturing industries
The automotive industry arose in the beginning of the 20th century and is one of the oldest manufacturing industries there is. Generally, the industry has been and still is very successful, breaking new records every year in the number of sold cars. The automotive industry is also in the forefront when it comes to new digital solutions. We predict a massive change in the automotive industry in the future, where the transition from combustion engines to electrical engines is becoming more and more evident.
Eliminate production stops to meet tight margins and stay profitable
A production stop in the automotive industry can lead to devastating consequences. Because the industry earns a quite small amount of money per car, it all comes down to quantity, which means they need to produce many cars in order to be profitable. There are high delivery requirements with tight margins, so for the industry to deliver what they promised they need well-functioning production flow solutions that operate without production stops.
Clean and safe environment with controlled handling of heavy products
It is important to maintain a clean and safe environment in the automotive industry. Oil spill on the floors must be eliminated to reduce the risk of staff slipping, and clear colors help determine if a surface is clean or not. Also, the noise level should be reduced to a minimum in order to provide a good working environment. Compared to many other manufacturing industries, the automotive industry deals with heavy products, often up to several hundred kilos. The weight can also differ depending on where the products are in the production line. As the products travel through the production line they become more and more refined, which means the production equipment needs to handle more weight at the end of the line than in the beginning. The use of robust and safe production flow solutions is crucial to handle heavy products in a safe and controlled manner, as well as maintain a clean and safe work environment.
The automotive industry moves from a mechanical focus to a mechatronic focus
The future for the automotive industry looks very bright. As mentioned earlier, the industry is moving towards a new technology where electrically driven cars are becoming more and more common. That means the business for mechanical automotive companies will change dramatically the coming years since they need to switch from a mechanical focus to a mechatronic focus. Many believe that by the year 2020, 50 percent of all newly produced cars will be electrically driven.
Smart and energy-efficient automated production flow solutions
FlexLink has extensive experience in equipping the automotive industry with automated production flow solutions. To find the most suitable solution for our customers we carefully go through their specifications describing, for example, the products, the weight of the products, cycle times and which fluids are involved in the different operations. We are familiar with the industry and how different processes work as well as what type of machines are used in the production line. A comprehensive understanding of the industry and its needs is important in order to deliver the effective and well-functioning solutions the automotive industry requires.
I hope you enjoyed reading the article. Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to visit FlexLink’s website for more information. This was the first part of two in my article series about the automotive industry. In the next blog article, I will describe more about the automotive industry’s shifting focus to electrical production equipment and how connected production flow solutions contribute to a more efficient automotive industry.