The factory of the future according to Audi

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New applications of existing elements.

The successive advances in technology do not only apply to various parameters of the vehicle, production processes are also affected by technological evolution, and in the case of brands like Audi, at virtually all stages of the production chain. From the assembly process up to the operation of departments such as the logistical or maintenance will see as its normal processes will change radically in the coming years thanks to new technologies.

on the one hand, the usual chain of production will turn into a succession of work stations separated, united by autonomous vehicles without a driver. In this way, the production of the various vehicles, in their different variants, versions and options, would be carried out automatically. In function of the needs, the manufacturing of the vehicle would follow the correct path between these different workstations, each one of them in charge of certain specific tasks, so that the vehicle does not follow the traditional chain mounting.

In this aspect, Audi is precisely developed different vehicles without driver, for tasks as diverse as the one described above, or for departments such as the logistics, so that all processes and actions are developed automatically and instantly.

Imagine a productive environment full of small machines without driver, all and each one of them moving from one side to the other of the factory without the need of a human being to control them.

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Vehicles without a driver to guide the cars to the various stations of work.

Examples of this can be found already in practice in some plants of the German mark. The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is assembled in Ingolstadt, next to the A3 standard, and at a particular time, the units designed for this version (a minority within the total production of the A3) diverted into 7 different work stations, where it is installed, its complex wiring diagram, without the need of having a line or paragraph specific to assemble these hybrid versions.

The automation that is taking Audi to gradually includes not only the affect this new generation of machines to various tasks monotonous and repetitive, also have developed new robots capable of acting in a delicate manner, and for this Audi is testing the FlexShapeGripper, a new machine is not only capable of catch elements and to operate with them, but do so with extreme smoothness and being able to interact with humans, such as, for example, you pass the object.

For this purpose, the clutches have been specially designed, taking inspiration from the chameleon, so very soft and rounded forms.

The interaction between robots and people is also being studied at different levels. The Technical Center for Production Assistance Systems Audi is developing a new generation of machines that need not be separated from human security. Currently, the areas of the production chains in which they operate robots are closed to the passage of the workers, to avoid accidents.

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Model of trolley self.

These new machines, detect the human presence and stand on dry when the minimum distance between them and the people is not maintained.

These developments will allow Audi, once carried to all the sectors and locations of production capacity, to achieve new goals in terms of productive efficiency, minimizing costs and errors.

Technologies such as the goggles augmented reality will allow greater connectivity to the workers, who at all times will be supported by computer without the need of having to carry another device. Or drones, that allow departments such as the logistics to operate within the factory, literally, to other levels, allowing to transport the necessary parts in record time within a plant.