VW developing industrial cloud system for plant optimisation

01 April 2019

1 April 2019

Volkswagen (VW) Group is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop an industrial cloud-based project.

The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine the data of all machines, plants and systems from all 122 facilities of the Volkswagen Group. This will create new prospects for the optimisation of processes in production and allows considerable productivity improvements at the plants, allowing them to meet goals set out by the manufacturer.

In the long term, the global supply chain of the VW Group, with more than 30,000 locations of over 1,500 suppliers and partner companies, could also be integrated.

By leveraging Amazon Web Services technology and services, VW says it is creating its Industrial Cloud as an open industry platform that other partners from industry, logistics and sales may use in the future.

The Siemens technology group has been announced by the German manufacturer as the integration partner for the project. The company will play a key role in ensuring that the machinery and equipment of different manufacturers at the 122 Volkswagen plants are networked efficiently in the cloud. The resulting data transparency and analysis will lay the technological foundations for further productivity improvements at Volkswagen plants.

′We intend to make our Volkswagen Industrial Cloud a partner network with digital functions bringing benefits to all the participating companies. In Siemens, we have secured a strong partner with outstanding digitalisation and industry expertise,’ says Oliver Blume, Chairman of Porsche and member of the board of management of Volkswagen responsible for production.

Siemens is contributing its expertise in automation, the networking of machinery and plant and the world of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) to the cooperation with VW. Apart from the applications and apps of its MindSphere IoT platform that will be created, this will also include industrial edge solutions. With this approach, production data will be processed directly by equipment and machinery in the production process before they are transmitted to the Industrial Cloud. This will allow further optimisation of complex production processes and also improve data quality.

For example, Siemens and MindSphere also offer applications for the predictive maintenance of machines with optimised maintenance cycles calculated in advance. Via the cloud, these can then be rolled out to all the Volkswagen plants. It will be possible to control Volkswagen’s production environment and supply chain even more efficiently because the connected suppliers and machinery producers will also benefit from the knowledge gained from data analysis.

With carmakers suffering financially due to expensive vehicle electrification and autonomous development costs, productivity in plants is an area they are looking to improve. By digitalising certain processes, VW hopes it can boost manufacturing times at its plants, with predictive maintenance and improved supply chains.