Global parts and systems supplier, International Automotive Components (IAC), is now using industry 4.0 manufacturing technology and smart logistics for the production of interior components at its plant in Halewood. Parts are supplied from the site to Jaguar Land Rover’s plant nearby and other carmakers in the country.
Among other things, the plant uses 42 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to deliver parts on a just-in-time basis to a cockpit assembly line that can produce up to 4m variants.
IAC said it was using real-time machine utilisation software, allowing plant managers to see data in real time and make immediate adjustments to the delivery and production processes. Quality is checked at the end of the assembly line by skilled operators working with camera-equipped ‘cobots’, meanwhile.
“We are committed to providing innovative interior solutions that support our OEM customers as they advance towards the development and deployment of fully automated vehicles,” said Jonas Nilsson, IAC Europe president. “Our IAC Halewood location is taking the next step into the future of mobility with the use of cutting-edge technologies focused on the efficient creation of high-quality interiors.”
The company said its next step in the adoption of industry 4.0 technology would be to use machine utilisation data for predictive maintenance of equipment.
It plans to roll out the ‘smart factory’ innovations being used at Halewood to all of its European manufacturing operations, a move it said would reduce manual work, improve flexibility, eradicate defects and enhance process automation. IAC operates around 50 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries.