Our story on Industry 4.0 ─ Autoland 1

At the beginning of 2014, Mr. SC, the head of company A, a leading Italian manufacturer of automotive electrical products with a factory in Shenzhen, and Mr. AC, technical director, visited AUTOLAND. Their requirement was:

  1. 1. The Shenzhen factory, which adopts semi-automatic production methods, plans to withdraw due to the high defect rate.
  2. 2. It is scheduled to invest in Taiwan to establish a new factory and a brand new automatic production line.

Because they have rich experience in design and manufacture of products such as Coil and Relay for vehicles, the two parties quickly entered into the discussion of detailed specifications. AUTOLAND has rich experience in automatic production systems and their control. After two meetings, we submitted the system layout and the architectural design of each cell, which was approved by Mr. AC, the Italian technical director who was a racing driver. And then, they decided to place an order.

However, based on their previous unsuccessful experience in Shenzhen due to excessive reliance on labor and the high cost of stationed personnel from Italy, the president Mr. SC proposed the following 3 requirements before placing the order:

  1. 1. The production line is as automated as possible to reduce manpower requirements.
  2. 2. The defective rate in Shenzhen was over 5%,
    and the defective rate on the new production line should be kept below 0.5%.
  3. Italy does not send permanent staff, including technicians and managers. Besides,
    the Milan headquarters must be very clear about the daily production line and the quality yield.

Items 1 and 2 are the daily work of AUTOLAND over the past few decades. The 3’rd item involves telecommunications technology, which is Taiwan’s strong point. We have also had cooperation experience with CONNEXION Systems Corp. with this professional technology in the past. Therefore, the integration of automation technology and telecommunications technology can meet the requirements of Italian customers.

Architecture diagram of coil assembly smart production line

Although Industry 4.0 was initiated in Europe, European Small and Medium Enterprises have experience in automation and can discuss the requirements of specifications. However, when it comes to how to integrate telecommunications technology into automated production lines to achieve greater benefits, it becomes impossible to discuss. This is a common situation. The case is the same.

In mid-2014, the case was completed and the automatic production of electromagnetic coil products was started. In addition to the production efficiency and quality yield meeting the original requirements, we used IPC and network-based telecommunications systems. And Mr. AC, the technical director felt amazing about it.

Real-time data (Web-based) of smart production line

Through a wired network, production and quality data stored in IPC can:

  1. 1. Automatically send back to Milan headquarters regularly.
  2. 2. The authorized supervisor can obtain various materials at any time.

If the wireless function is added, the supervisor can use Smart Phone to understand the past production records and the current online situation in any corner of the world, which is convenient for real-time control of the information, further grasp the business opportunities.