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.
Inside 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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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