Currently, PSA produces gasoline and diesel motor variants on separated lines. Each motor variant has 10 different models that are manufactured in high, medium or low production volumes according to customers’ demand. Until now, PSA had no flexible solution to dynamically respond to production volume fluctuations.
PSA is working on a Factory of the Future program and imagining a new assembly line concept, capable of producing gasoline (EB) and the diesel (DVR) engine variants in the same line. With this concept, the company expects to achieve a common production flow for both motor block types. The pilot line is being designed in an R&D platform named FFLOR (Future Factory at LORraine, located in the heart of PSA’s factory in Trémery), driven by the French research institute CEA Tech. On the FFLOR-platform, the pilot line is expected to have static workstations, mobile robots and operators working with collaborative robots.
At the moment, the pilot line is already designed and simulated in 3D, comprising the characteristics mentioned above and the sequence of tasks to be performed. By the end of 2018, PSA should have setup 11 workstations. The video below showcases the simulation of a task in the pilot line.
ScalABLE4.0 will support this pilot line, working on the dynamical adaptation of the manufacturing system to the specifications of each motor block variant, to better deal with demand fluctuation along the product’s lifecycle. ScalABLE4.0 expects to provide an Open Scalable Production System Framework with plug-and-produce collaborative robotic solutions. Common assembly tasks performed on both motor block variations, such as screwing and piston insertion, were defined for the use case, considering different automatization levels, this is, the tasks can be executed by a human operator, by a robot or in collaboration.
Furthermore, simulation tools and decision support systems are being developed to help the production managers to decide, in real-time, how to organize the production resources, i.e., human operators and robots, on the production line to achieve a particular market demand.■
ScalABLE4.0 is a 42 months project that aims to create scalable production systems that connect the factory floor to management. The project will focus on developing software and methodologies to perform a real-time simulation of the factory, plug-n-play hardware and flexible robotic platforms that will be able to safely interact and collaborate with human operators. ScalABLE4.0 aims to push industrial technology further on and shorten the gap between European factories and the Factory of the Future concept.
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