In times of digital transformation, things are also changing in the automotive industry. In a video published last week, AUDI showed how they plan their cars virtually and what advantages this type of design and prototyping brings. The new AUDI e-tron GT is the example object, which clearly shows how AUDI approaches topics such as environmental protection, resource conservation and process optimization.
Audi plans assembly processes digitally (Source: AUDI AG)
What makes the video special, according to media reports, is that the Audi e-tron GT is AUDI’s first vehicle whose assembly and logistics processes have been tested completely virtually and without a physical prototype.
Modeled on the digital twin, this involves creating a holistic, virtual image of the planned assembly process. Part of the data sets used here are vehicle data, material arrangements, tools and equipment used. The development team can then make further decisions on this basis.
“Thanks to a VR solution developed by us at Audi and the digital image, colleagues from all over the world now meet in virtual rooms and find themselves in the middle of tomorrow’s production. There, they can look over the shoulders of computer-generated workers as they carry out the planned processes and experience and optimize the planned processes for any component variants in our application themselves.”
The assembly processes are tested and adjusted so often until the arrangement of components and the infrastructure in the assembly hall can lead to the best possible result. Transport containers and sensitive components have also been planned in this way, which not only brings process optimization, but also strengthens increasing product optimization in logistics and assembly.
Virtual planning is particularly sustainable in this regard, AUDI emphasizes, because it is built on three pillars.
- Less resources: The virtual planning of the Audi e-tron GT without expensive physical prototypes not only saves material and resources, but also helps to optimize container planning and process steps so that they are as sustainable and resource-conserving as possible.
- Less waste: Until now, the special load carriers in which the sensitive components for the car were transported disposable material. However, the virtual planning of customized containers in the virtual planning will eliminate this point in the future.
- Fewer business trips: By collaborating in virtual reality, colleagues at AUDI can work together on the car without having to travel specially from all plants and countries.
Virtual planning and working with digital images on the Audi e-tron GT are just the beginning. If the processes shown in the video work and become established, the opportunities of digitization can be fully exploited in the future. One example would be for planning to be completely virtual and the data for the required parts then sent to the plants’ 3D printers to create them in a resource-efficient and just-in-time manner.
Post picture: AUDI AG