Digital transformation revolutionizes all aspects of our lives, and the automotive industry is one of the most notable examples of this great technological shift. These changes, already visible in the automotive space, are here to stay and take the automotive industry to the next level.
There are many ways in which Industry 4.0 technologies can help vehicle manufacturers optimize their production processes. Numerous software tools, robots, and automation systems are changing the automotive landscape lightning-fast, and their potential impact on the industry is even more significant.
In this article, we’ll shed light on some of them.
Table of contents:
- Industry 4.0 and automotive transformation
- Benefits of industry 4.0 in the automotive industry
- Industry 4.0 in automotive manufacturing – summary
Industry 4.0 and automotive transformation
The fourth industrial revolution – industry 4.0 is the emanation of – has thoroughly transformed the automotive world. It gets changed (and enhanced) by cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, additive manufacturing, and autonomous robots.
Using these game-changing technologies results in achievements and developments like smart manufacturing operations, predictive maintenance, or the possibility of creating a digital twin. The heavy use of data analytics in the automotive industry is to make the vehicle manufacturing process more cost-effective, time-efficient, and smoother.
How is automotive manufacturing adopting industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 changes many automotive business areas today, creating a new digital ecosystem.
Automotive manufacturers adopting industry 4.0 use it to enhance virtually all phases of vehicle creation – from designing a car and testing its prototype to market delivery.
Some of the solutions in heavy use today include smart manufacturing in the automotive industry, intelligent logistics (with real-time tracking solutions), and virtual assembly. Additive manufacturing, a smart factory, as well as the supply chain 4.0 – are what modern automotive suppliers use more and more often.
Benefits of industry 4.0 in the automotive industry
The benefits of industry 4.0 in the automotive industry are visible at first glance and very tangible. Let’s look at the short list of what good going with the flow of the digital revolution can bring to the art of creating and the reality of selling vehicles.
Benefit 1: Automotive manufacturing automation
Automated creation of goods and services is one of the hallmarks of industry 4.0, and car making is an excellent example of this trend. Flexible automotive manufacturing automation lets carmakers optimize all the processes involved in the product life cycle, including designing, testing, and deployment.
The automotive industry is bravely leading the automation revolution, with a staggering 1 in every 2 industrial robots sold globally bought by US automakers. Autonomous robots haven’t replaced humans but help them perform many tedious, difficult, or dangerous tasks.
This way, the car-making process gets more precise, and more customized vehicles and their parts can be created easily. Robots can do the welding, assembly elements, cut the material, or paint, but it’s (usually) still the human workers who make the final touch or quality checks.
But automation also concerns other tasks within the automotive industry, like request processing or replacement alert sending. Processes are being tracked in real time, so spotting discrepancies and reacting promptly is easy.
Benefit 2: Increasing production efficiency
The number one technology for making vehicle production more efficient is additive manufacturing. It’s a speedy way of creating prototypes – and then parts and components needed to produce a vehicle, which can be made in a locally-run micro-factory.
But industry 4.0 results not only in the production efficiency increase but also in optimizing other processes. That is possible thanks to enhancing data flow and integrating data across various disciplines and departments – which is then easily accessible via the cloud, along with important findings or analyses.
Benefit 3: Enhancing supply chain management
Optimization of the supply chain in the automotive industry is crucial for making this business successful, and any disruptions or long wait times can have grave consequences. The technology that can help here is 3D printing that manufacturers use for creating prototypes and quick faulty parts replacement.
Another significant issue is improving logistics and simplifying supply chain management (SCM). Cloud computing, cloud logistics, virtualization of resources, and Big Data analytics are new technologies that are very beneficial in this regard, resulting in cost and revenue optimization that is at the center of today’s automotive product development from day one.
Benefit 4: Money savings
All the solutions described above result in cost efficiency, although the initial cost of implementing them may be significant. However, enhancing the end-to-end automotive value chain and the entire product lifecycle with digital solutions can save your automotive brand from being too slow, too old-fashioned, and eventually wiped out and forgotten.
Investments are crucial in digital transformation, but they must be reasonable and preceded by thorough analyses and auditing procedures. And that’s where professional IT consultants and full-fledged software engineers come to play – to tell you what solution is needed and what can give you a true competitive advantage.
Digital solutions for the automotive industry: Codete’s way
Codete has vast experience in developing software solutions for the automotive industry. We’ve worked with global automotive industry leaders, such as BMW, Porsche, and KIA.
Codete’s software engineers, data science specialists, IT consultants, and other professionals with relevant business expertise are here to help you get on the right lane. Our automotive software development services can drive your business to digital success. Other ways Codete’s IT professionals may help you get back on track include audit, consulting, support, and maintenance.
Codete’s assistance is helpful in many cases, like improving security in your existing app, bringing a new product to the market, or adding new features to your platform. Our clients get a comprehensive set of IT solutions and services, clear terms of collaboration, fast onboarding, and quick access to professional expertise.
Case study: BMW/Deloitte – Big Data solutions for automotive
To date, Codete has implemented several enhancements to its car-making customers' processes, infrastructure, and analytics systems. One of them was BMW, known for perfection and digital innovations. Codete, cooperating with Deloitte, was involved in a spin-off project for the automotive industry leader.
Our R&D department offered its expert knowledge and a scientific approach to data architecture and analysis to track BMW vehicles on their way from the factory to the car dealers. The solution was a real-time data processing framework, with cutting-edge Big Data tools used.
Industry 4.0 in automotive manufacturing – summary
The automotive industry is demanding, and it takes courage and imagination to be ahead of the curve. This is especially the case in times of digital transformation and industry 4.0 – which give vehicle manufacturers and automotive solution providers great opportunities.
New ways of driving cars, with self-driving vehicles and customized automotive solutions or products, are in the limelight now, but there’s much more in store. Using VR for test driving or 3D models for checking new car visions are some other promising ideas.
Of course, the number and complexity of these new technologies, tools, and solutions may be truly overwhelming. Benefits may be very encouraging, but the initial costs can be high, and the implementation and cybersecurity issues may be puzzling, too, without professional IT assistance.
It’s good to understand that the switch to digital transformation and industry 4.0 in the car-making area is inevitable. Things change, and it’s better to go with the flow and grasp these innovations now – as tomorrow it may be too late.
Want to use some novice technologies but don’t know what to start with? If you’re looking for highly-effective ways to keep your automotive business in line with digital transformation and get on the fast track to success in the industry, don’t hesitate to contact Codete now.