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Delivering a smarter factory – Automotive Logistics

Magna Steyr Plant Graz 2018

Magna Steyr’s car meeting plant within the Austrian metropolis of Graz isn’t a typical automotive manufacturing unit; the location, which in 2018 introduced its cumulative complete manufacturing tally to three.5m automobiles, produces automobiles underneath contract for OEMs reminiscent of Daimler, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. Effectivity is necessary in any automotive operation – however for a contract producer, it’s the life-blood of the enterprise.

So maybe it’s no shock to find that the plant was an early adopter of business four.Zero, a time period coined by the German federal authorities in 2011 to check with a clutch of latest manufacturing applied sciences which might be anticipated to usher in a fourth industrial revolution.

Huge knowledge and superior analytics, the web of issues, robotics, digital modelling, 3D printing, and computer-integrated manufacturing are usually not solely included in business four.Zero, however are mixed to make an entire a lot larger than the sum of its elements.

Fact 1200Inside the 100-year-old Graz plant, explains Alfons Dachs-Wiesinger, its director of logistics providers, business four.Zero has been rebadged as ‘Sensible Manufacturing unit by Magna Steyr’. Automated guided automobiles, collaborative robots, massive knowledge, information administration and clever racks are all a part of what he phrases “a holistic strategic strategy to digitalisation, as a way to be ready for future challenges”.

That stated, the newest addition to the Sensible Manufacturing unit toolbox, the Magna Steyr Clever Arrival Trailer Monitoring (MIATT) initiative, was prompted by very a lot a present problem: the necessity to shortly develop higher visibility into sure car flows heading to the plant. The flows in query associated to new mannequin launches commencing in 2017 and 2018: initially, the BMW 5-series, then Jaguar’s E-PACE and I-PACE fashions.

Shifting sources
With most earlier fashions that Magna Steyr had constructed, explains Dachs-Wiesinger, the plant had been capable of rely extensively on its community of native suppliers, principally situated inside 20km and supplying it on a just-in-sequence or just-in-time foundation. For these new fashions, although, the sourcing selections of the marques in query as an alternative mirrored the respective OEMs’ pre-existing sourcing preferences and relationships, leading to for much longer just-in-sequence transit distances.

“The suppliers have been not near the plant, however 400km, 600km or 1,200km away and, in a few situations, even additional,” he notes. “These have been nonetheless just-in-sequence flows, so the monitoring of these shipments was important, which posed a problem for us. On the one hand, you may argue that monitoring the shipments was the duty of the logistics service suppliers in query, however in the actual world we knew that this wouldn’t work 100% of the time. So we have been in search of a sensible option to obtain this monitoring.”

Monitoring trailers
The answer, reached after some consideration, was to equip all of the plant’s incoming and outgoing trailers with GPS communications, in order that real-time location and standing updates can be out there. After researching the marketplace for such capabilities, explains Dachs-Wiesinger, Magna Steyr chosen the ghTrack modular data-as-a-service (DaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) system from Danish agency GateHouse Logistics (acquired in December 2018 by cloud-based logistics platform supplier undertaking44), which had a confirmed monitor document of unifying knowledge from a whole lot of various monitoring techniques and applied sciences throughout tens of millions of belongings, akin to vans, trailers and containers.


Alfons Dachs-Wiesinger, director of logistics services, Magna Steyr“The only impetus behind the MIATT initiative was the necessity to help long-distance, just-in-sequence deliveries with the required degree of visibility and management. However that stated, we had all the time needed to digitise our inbound logistics flows” – Alfons Dachs-Wiesinger, Magna Steyr


GateHouse’s position has been that of a impartial knowledge mediator, bringing the info collectively from numerous logistics service suppliers and methods, partnering with Cargobull Telematics and different suppliers in a methods integrator position, and offering Magna Steyr with not solely the specified track-and-trace functionality but in addition the power to proactively optimise routes to scale back gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions, in addition to enhance on-time supply efficiency and scale back the necessity for expedited shipments.

The realisation that the specified degree of visibility and digitalisation was each attainable and cost-effective was one thing of a watershed second for Magna Steyr, admits Dachs-Wiesinger.

“The only impetus behind the MIATT initiative was the necessity to help long-distance, just-in-sequence deliveries with the required degree of visibility and management,” he says. “However that stated, we had all the time needed to digitise our inbound logistics flows and MIATT was to be an necessary step in the direction of that. With MIATT, we have been beginning with the time-critical and high-volume logistics flows first, the place the enterprise case was strongest.”

Work carried out throughout 2016 noticed the challenge steadily take form. Carriers have been introduced onboard, transport routes and schedules crystallised, gear and software program sourced and delivered, and ‘key consumer’ coaching undertaken. An preliminary check noticed the wrinkles ironed out and documentation refined. By the fourth quarter of 2016, the MIATT system was prepared for deployment – a course of that passed off over a four-week interval.

Magna Steyr's arrival probability calculationEnhanced visibility
The core functionality delivered by the brand new system, explains Dachs-Wiesinger, is a visible show on a digital map of every cargo’s progress and site on its route, based mostly on GPS updates each 5 minutes. For each cargo, an estimated time of arrival (ETA) and an earliest attainable arrival time (EPAT) are calculated. Late shipments are displayed on the routes in pink, with ‘late’ being when the truck is additional away from its vacation spot than it will probably theoretically drive earlier than the deliberate arrival time, together with an outlined buffer interval.

Late shipments additionally set off e mail alerts to an outlined group of plant personnel, in order that motion may be taken to mitigate the consequences. These might embrace plant-level measures, similar to re-planning, in addition to motion by the related service.

Initially, says Dachs-Wiesinger, Magna Steyr’s intention was for these emails to be despatched solely to its personal personnel, on the idea that carriers would use their very own techniques to be made conscious of a specific cargo’s standing.

Upon go-live, although, it shortly turned clear that this was not essentially the case, with carriers complaining that Magna Steyr personnel knew of any delays earlier than their very own techniques and drivers had advised them – placing them at an obstacle when it got here to remedial motion. Accordingly, says Dachs-Wiesinger, a choice was shortly taken to share the e-mail alerts with carriers. This not solely sped up response occasions but in addition decreased the necessity for interplay between Magna Steyr and its carriers.

Enterprise intelligence
Analytics-driven enterprise intelligence is one other highly effective function of the system, he says. Through the improvement of the trailer monitoring initiative, the agency recognised the granularity and quantity of knowledge that might be forthcoming. This prompted a consideration of what Dachs-Wiesinger describes as 5 “ranges of maturity” in making use of the info, stretching from the primary degree – easy reporting – to the fifth and highest degree – actively utilizing it for determination help. In between are department-level reporting, executive-level reporting and development detection.

Operationally, this interprets right into a spectrum of alternatives, from primary drill-down capabilities on the degree of particular person masses and shipments to predictive analytics and the power to mix trailer monitoring knowledge with different knowledge – from Magna Steyr’s ERP and TMS methods, as an example – to see correlations, developments and alternatives to re-plan routes extra effectively.

“The place can we get issues on a regular basis, or get them extra typically than on different routes? Understanding such issues, we will higher help our planning and routing processes and search for methods to minimise or forestall these issues – and in addition enhance our environmental footprint,” explains Dachs-Wiesinger. “It’s about consciously benefiting from the chance to take knowledge that’s already being captured, which is already obtainable to us, and re-use it for future planning functions and higher decision-making.”

In the long run, he concludes, the aim is to increase this even additional, by integrating inside Magna Steyr’s cloud-based Inet TMS (transport administration system) the MIATT-derived knowledge with DHL Provide Chain’s Resilience 360 provide chain danger administration providing, to be able to de-risk transport routes much more.

“We’ve examined the idea, and know that it’ll work, however the implementation lies sooner or later,” Dachs-Wiesinger says. “Alerts will probably be set inside Resilience 360, and any triggered alerts will then be checked inside the TMS. MIATT and Resilience 360 will each be linked to the TMS, however that’s the extent of the mixing – they gained’t be immediately speaking to one another.”

Reaping the rewards
But when the broader provide chain danger administration advantages of Resilience 360 lie sooner or later, the rewards of Magna Steyr’s funding in MIATT are very a lot within the right here and now.

Fact 40%As a joint 18-page Magna Steyr-GateHouse case research of the undertaking makes clear, MIATT delivered a 40% enchancment in on-time supply efficiency in its first two months and is predicted to scale back expenditure on expedited transport shipments by an analogous quantity. Route optimisation has delivered a measurable discount in gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions, and it has additionally proved attainable to scale back the variety of personnel engaged in car dispatching and expediting.

Not surprisingly, maybe, the MIATT undertaking was recognised within the Automotive Logistics Awards – Europe 2018, scooping up the Inbound Community Optimisation Award final yr.

Each the MIATT initiative and Magna Steyr’s new iTrace venture (see field under) have additionally added additional strands to the corporate’s business four.Zero-enabled ‘Sensible Manufacturing unit’ initiative, proving know-how that would now be rolled out elsewhere in Magna Worldwide’s manufacturing community, which totals some 339 crops throughout 28 nations, provides Dachs-Wiesinger.

“As a enterprise, our aim is to ship superior worth to our clients by means of innovation and world-class manufacturing. With MIATT and iTrace, we’re delivering on each fronts,” he says. 


Streamlined unloading with iTrace

Value-add analytics SCM Magna Steyr

Each MIATT and iTrace make use of pill units

Alongside the brand new MIATT system is the Graz plant’s iTrace loading listing digitalisation venture, which has taken place over an identical timescale and is one other side of Magna Steyr’s evolving ‘Sensible Manufacturing unit’ initiative.

As with MIATT, the iTrace venture was aimed toward delivering strong operational enhancements and tangible advantages – on this case, referring to extra environment friendly unloading and processing of returnable containers transported on 1,000 or so vans shifting out and in of the plant and its exterior logistics centres every day. Every one is unloaded at one among 35 docks on the plant or 25 docks at its exterior logistics centres.

Because the plant grew and its logistics operations elevated in scale, there was a corresponding discount in area the place vans might wait to be unloaded. Historically, explains Dachs-Wiesinger, vans have been required to park 3 times earlier than unloading – which was clearly wasteful and inefficient. The apparent query was: might they not merely cease as soon as, on arrival on the plant, after which be despatched instantly from there to the related loading dock?

To take action, the corporate needed to substitute a largely guide, paper-based scheduling course of that had no connection to the plant’s Inet TMS and relied on a number of channels of communication. The aim was a digital workflow with a direct connection to the TMS, during which all related events might talk with one another, enabling the general goal of the initiative, which was, as Dachs-Wiesinger places it, “to get out of the plant quicker”.

iTrace aimed to realize this by being part of the TMS and thereby related to Magna Steyr’s ERP system, and by operating on cellular units carried by all events within the car loading and unloading course of, offering connectivity to the TMS and ERP methods in addition to seamless, constant, real-time communication.

Elements of the puzzle have been already in place. Forklift truck drivers, as an example, already used cellular tablets, so iTrace would merely be another software residing on these. Others can be utilizing cellular tablets for the primary time, changing paper-based processes with environment friendly digital workflows. In every case, explains Dachs-Wiesinger, the units can be commonplace Microsoft tablets designed for manufacturing environments, however operating code written in HTML that would, if required, be run on any browser-equipped pill.

Fact 1000The iTrace course of is simple. On arrival on the plant, a verify confirms whether or not the car is predicted or not, and the driving force is handed an RFID tag. The TMS assigns a dock or exterior logistics centre, to which the driving force proceeds earlier than handing the RFID tag to the forklift truck driver who meets the car. The forklift driver then scans the tag, triggering the looks of a digital load manifest on his pill, which the driving force then visually confirms or corrects.

That is countersigned by the driving force of the supply truck, which supplies the authority to begin unloading.

Upon completion, the central dispatcher authorises the printing of documentation confirming that unloading has been accomplished, and the driving force is free to go away the location, returning the RFID tag on the gate. This printed documentation, says Dachs-Wiesinger, is now the one paper within the system.

The advantages delivered by the iTrace system are numerous, he provides. Ready occasions and ready area have been drastically decreased. The method is essentially paper-free, administratively extra environment friendly, and quicker. Knowledge is instantly acquired by and transmitted from the Inet TMS. The variety of incoming vans the plant can deal with has roughly doubled, and the method itself is each extra clear and safer. As well as, add Dachs-Wiesinger, CO2 emissions and labour prices have been lowered.


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