Porsche’s IT and process consulting subsidiary, MHP, is supplying the carmaker with a centralised fleet management system to control automated logistics at its Zuffenhausen assembly plant in Germany. Porsche said MHP FleetExecuter will help increase efficiency and flexibility in production at the plant.


Porsche is using 27 AGVs at its Zuffenhausen assembly plant, carrying 1,600 material transports a day

The cloud-based software, which is integrated into the plant’s existing IT infrastructure, is used to coordinate lifts, gates and other systems through which automated guided vehicles (AGVs) move from warehouse to assembly line delivering parts. According to Porsche, there are currently 27 AGVs carrying out up to 1,600 material transports per day over a distance of 750 metres. Those AGVs navigate, high-speed doors, four automatic gates, a double lift system and four intersecting third-party systems en route between the various high-bay racks.

Porsche said that MHP FleetExecuter provides centralised control of the company’s entire AGV fleet regardless of the individual unit’s manufacturer or of the communication interface, data source and the individual system’s degree of automation. The carmaker said it the software can increase intralogistics efficiency by up to 20%.

Albrecht Reimold, head of production and logistics at Porsche said: “By using the MHP FleetExecuter, we are much more efficient and flexible in our internal plant logistics. It allows us to control our ever-increasing number of driverless transport systems precisely. At the same time, the software-controlled transport systems allow us to cut out some trips previously made by HGVs and so make a contribution to sustainability.”

According to Porsche ten more projects will follow, including in Bau 70, the assembly hall at Zuffenhausen for the Porsche Taycan, where new AGVs will be supporting production supply.

Fast integration
The system was integrated in nine months having been digitally modelled and simulated completely in advance and then physically tested in the MHPLab in Ludwigsburg. Porsche said it offers more transparency and resilience on the shopfloor, which improves. processes

“We are dealing with a completely new type of architecture here,” said Henning Hiebsch, partner and business owner of FleetExecuter at MHP. “In order to meet the individual requirements at Porsche, we have configured and enhanced the solution to fully guarantee process-critical production supply to 100%. Despite its technical complexity, its use remains intuitive for the operator.” 

MHP was founded in 1996 and Porsche took at 49% stake in the technology provider in 1999, since having increased that to 100%. MHP provides operational and strategic consulting in areas such as supply chain and cloud solutions, platforms and ecosystems, big data and AI, as well as Industry 4.0 and intelligent products.

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At this year’s inaugural Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Digital Strategies North America conference, which is held in Nashville, Tennessee in June, automotive supply chain and digital leaders will share their strategic objectives, processes and investments for making operations, planning and delivery more connected.