This is a guest post from my colleague Zvika Weissman, Marketing Manager for Tecnomatix based in Israel.
With the support of the Volvo PLM project team, and the Siemens PLM Sweden team, I have recently written a case study about how Volvo is using our digital manufacturing tools. In order to write this case study, I took the opportunity to visit Volvo in Gothenburg Sweden, and found an impressive digital manufacturing deployment, and a company seeking to maximize their investment in digital manufacturing.
It is a cold city Gothenburg, with a main street that leads to a famous Poseidon statue. Cold as it is, it seems that the people live in this country, have a very high drive of innovation, which brought to the world brands like Volvo, Saab, IKEA, SKF, H&M and other brands.
Volvo is currently busy with establishing a new production operation in China, and is going to launch its first car to be manufactured in China by 2013. So, Volvo engineers from Sweden are investing a lot of effort in transferring manufacturing engineering knowledge and best practices manufacturing and process planning methodologies to their colleagues in China. Indeed, when I was onsite, some of the engineers were visiting China. An interesting aspect of this effort is the big focus that Volvo puts on establishing the environment of our digital manufacturing tools in China, so that the manufacturing engineers in China will work in similar methodologies to their colleagues in Europe.
Volvo has a clear vision of removing the typical barriers between its product design & manufacturing engineering groups, by using Teamcenter. The deployment level of Teamcenter in the manufacturing planning area evolves across time. It is currently deployed in the Final Assembly area, such that the production lines are planned with Teamcenter Manufacturing Process Planner, where in each assembly station, the assembly operations are defined in detail, sequenced, and linked to the specific parts that are assembled in this station, and to the required tools. The Volvo Process Simulate users state that due to the strength and user friendliness of the Tecnomatix tools, the company’s BiW & FA Robotics Simulation department currently delivers more output, and simulates more production concepts, yet compared to its prior method, requires fewer people to do so.
Walking on the shop floor, I closed a personal loop. A few years ago, working in a business development function and providing back-office support to our local Swedish consulting team, I developed a small customized solution for Volvo, which extracts the data out of our manufacturing database, into a pre-defined PowerPoint format. Now, while visiting Volvo, during my shop floor tour, I found many self-explanatory and visualized hardcopy work instructions, which were hung on many production station facilities. I noted to myself that Volvo has reached a very advanced level of work instructions for the shop floor employees. It was only when I got back home that I realized that I actually provided to Volvo this small customization…
… And yes, I wish I could own a Volvo car one day … really GREAT products they manufacture in the cold city of Gothenburg.