Faurecia has retained Swisslog to apply intralogistics expertise to the automation and management of manufacturing Work in Process (WIP). The design consists of Production Management System Software (PMS), CarryPick automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and three-axis robots designed to facilitate the collaboration between robots in manufacturing Faurecia’s continuously evolving product line.
Eric Moreau, Faurecia vice president of digital enterprise, commented, “We are now entering into a new world full of connectivity and digital innovations and this revolution is a great opportunity for Faurecia. As a leader of automotive industry, we recognize the importance of being key players of this transformation and have selected Swisslog to bring us disruptive and innovative solutions. Faurecia Emission Control Technologies’ (FECT) new facility, located in Columbus, Indiana, will become our first digital showcase, bringing more flexibility and productivity thanks to real-time data, connected equipment and new autonomous handling solutions. This represents an important breakthrough for both FECT and Swisslog as we enter this new world together.”
Virtual management of factory processes
Swisslog’s software offering will allow Faurecia complete virtual management of its work in progress (WIP). Integrating with the company’s ERP, Swisslog Production Management Software will allow real-time inventory management and tracking while managing specific sequencing and storage of parts throughout the manufacturing process. In addition, the software will control the movements of the robotics and automation for precise storage and delivery.
Markus Schmidt, president of Swisslog WDS Americas said, “ he solution for Faurecia effectively marries intralogistics best practices, supply chain software and material handling automation and effectively applies these technologies to the automotive manufacturing industry.”
Improving storage and efficiency
The automation solution for Faurecia includes Swisslog’s CarryPick AGVs and three-axis robots applied for this project. Both solutions were chosen based on their ability to reduce the overall footprint needed while maintaining the same WIP for maximum production flexibility. The CarryPick AGVs operate alongside humans with virtual navigation and inductive charging, allowing the system to run 24/7. The three-axis robot was designed based on learnings from its larger counterpart, the MiniLoad Tornado Crane. The new design operates X-directional, is easily programmable and allows handling of trays. Together, the solutions will allow Faurecia to reduce their floor space for storage by 60 percent, compared to the other alternatives they explored, the two companies say.
Schmidt added, “Swisslog is proud to have been selected by Faurecia to work on its newest, state-of-the-art facility in North America. Combining our expertise and know-how in logistics automation with Faurecia’s manufacturing processes is another great example of how we continue to offer the smartest automation solutions on the market.”