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Of the industrial production environments, the automotive industry is one of the fastest and most individual ones. Production options are so varied and customer-specific that almost no two finished products (cars) are the same. Online configuration on the part of the end-customer lead to a complex supply chain that is very prone to failure.
For this very reason, not only the production on site but the entire supply chain – from the individual parts and different delivery systems to the inventory and manufacture in the factory, and the eventual roll-out – has to be connected in one or several compatible networks.
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To make it possible for wireless technologies like RFID, BLE, and WLAN but also ORM to allow a flow information, production plants have to be outfitted with the right infrastructure of data carriers. Highly automated systems have to be monitored by sensors that can measure data like temperature or load, so safety and functionality can be ensured.
The goal is to automate processes in such a way production can be controlled, organised, and optimised across plants instead of within one site to improve mass production. For this to be feasible, the entire logistics process has to be optimised in such a way that delays and errors are eliminated and the risks of the just-in-time or just-in-sequence (delivery directly to the assembly line) production principles decrease. Robots and self-learning transport systems are part of the way into the Industry 4.0.