Audi launches digital factory initiative

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Technology companies Amazon Web Services (AWS), SAP, Capgemini and the XL2 joint venture have partnered to provide automaker Audi with IT solutions and ideas for a digital factory pilot project.

Audi’s Automotive Initiative 2025 (AI25) aims to develop digital solutions for its factories and implement them in vehicle production and logistics for series production within the next five years, with the overarching goal of making these components of the production process more efficient and flexible.

Audi’s site in Neckarsulm will act as the pilot factory, becoming a real-world laboratory for the digital transformation. There, digital solutions for vehicle production and the supply chain will be tested and developed for use in series production.

According to Audi, the site’s expertise in small-series and volume production will be particularly beneficial.

“We already have extensive experience in the areas of vehicle production, logistics and production IT at our Neckarsulm site.” said Peter Kössler, board member for production and logistics at Audi. “We will further enhance these capabilities in a targeted manner as part of the transformation.

“With our dedicated team of experts and our partners in the Automotive Initiative 2025 we develop the site into a leading factory for digital production and logistics within the Group.”

The Neckarsulm site will help to develop future thinking solutions such as the use of artificial intelligence or intuitive man-machine interaction. XL2 will collaborate with Capgemini, SAP and AWS to develop IT solutions required for a smart and connected factory.

Findings from the pilot programme are expected to be rolled out across Volkswagen Group, with Audi sites becoming part of Volkswagen’s industrial cloud.

The basis for the collaboration is the digital production platform (DPP), in which the data of every machine, piece of equipment and system from every plant in the Volkswagen Group are pooled.

The sites become part of the industrial cloud, which in the future will also include the Group’s supply chain as well as additional partners.

Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt are the first two Audi sites to be connected to the DPP and the remaining sites will follow later this year.

The companies will leverage AWS technologies in the areas of the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and computing services that will be developed specifically for the production environment and adapted to the requirements of the automotive industry.

Furthermore, the SAP S/4HANA platform will be used to develop next-generation digital production processes and solutions for modular production and interoperable vehicle logistics.

The companies will also use industry-specific applications of the SAP industry cloud in the areas of machine learning, robotic process automation and business process intelligence for the automation and digitalisation of the automotive industry.

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