Pre-series production represents the decisive development phase between prototype development and series production of a vehicle. In pre-series production, all process-related requirements for series production are tested and examined for any weak points. Also analyzed are the on-time provision of all components, the technical maturity of the vehicles, the necessary workstations and production stations, the adaptation of production tools and the training of employees.
The pre-series ensures that the pilot series does not have to overcome any start-up difficulties.
- Visualize process sequences almost in real time
- Ensure work processes and parts supply
- Avoid delays
- Localization of vehicles to within one-meter accuracy
Since the beginning of 2020, the German automobile manufacturer has been using a UWB localization system in the productive operation of pre-series production. All pre-series vehicles are marked with UWB transponders. For the first time, various wireless IoT technologies were combined in the transponders: In addition to UWB, UHF RFID and NFC interfaces are also integrated.
All three technologies are connected in the transponder via I²C with the RTLS controller. The transponder can thus be detected via different technologies. The pre-series, as well as the series production later on, has numerous special workstations.
All production stations are designed for dedicated activities and vehicles usually have to pass through these workstations in a sequence. At the same time, the corresponding commissioning trolleys with the components specifically prepared for the vehicle must also be available. The pre-series center covers three floors within one building. Vehicles and parts supply trolleys for the commissioning of vehicle-specific components must be recorded exactly at their current positions.
When a partially assembled vehicle body tagged with a UHF RFID label reaches the pre-series center, the ID of the label is automatically 'married' to the UWB transponder. From this point on, every vehicle on all three levels of the pre-series building can be precisely located with an accuracy of up to 30 centimeters.
In addition to the vehicles, the commissioning trolleys are also marked with identically coded transponders. Vehicles and parts supply trolleys continuously and automatically report their current position in real time. An intelligent motion sensor integrated in the transponder ensures that only process-relevant position changes are transmitted. A 256-color LED provides employees with visual feedback on communication and localization processes. All localization information is collected in an IoT suite. Not only does the platform report all relevant process steps to the backend system of the pre-series center, it also monitors all process flows.
Hardware & Software
- Process sequences visualized almost in real time
- IoT-Suite sends alarms - employees can intervene in a controlled manner
- Time schedules and objectives are precisely adhered to
- Free capacities at work stations are automatically registered
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