Autonomous driving and the new challenges that will be faced in production
Krailling, July 10, 2018 – Flawlessly operating components are absolutely essential for autonomous driving. This is creating huge challenges for production, which in future will need to be completely traceable as this is the only way to quickly isolate faults and clarify liability issues. According to DiIT, the leading producer of software for the wiring harness industry, the prerequisite for this is a customized MES solution.
The development of autonomous driving is already creating a profound upheaval in the automotive sector. Although strict regulations and conditions have always had to be observed for liability reasons, driverless vehicles are now leading to a considerable tightening of the requirements regarding automation and documentation. In a traditional vehicle, a malfunction of a critical component – for example, in the brakes technology – can already have drastic consequences. However, in an autonomous vehicle the consequences of malfunctions are totally incalculable. Yet one thing that is certain is that driver inadequacies or errors can no longer be held responsible for accidents.
In order to achieve the maximum possible passenger safety in this environment, autonomous vehicles must be able to respond in real time to a potential component malfunction in future. This means that redundant systems are required.
At the same time, the requirements in regard to the production process will also change. The OEMs will demand detailed documentation on each component from the suppliers. This documentation must contain information about the individual components contained therein and the production process itself. This is the only way to ensure that defective components are traceable at all times – from the component to the batch all the way through to the affected vehicles. If it becomes apparent that the fault could occur in other vehicles, specific measures such as product recalls can then be undertaken.
The manufacturers of wire harnesses are faced with some major challenges here. On one hand, there is the assembly process, which is still carried out mostly by hand. On the other hand, there are often inconsistencies between the systems seen in production control. Further automation will certainly be necessary and become reality, but much work still has to be done here. Whether automatic or manual – two things are necessary: a MES solution (manufacturing execution system) that controls and documents the entire production process, and the willingness of the manufacturers to make the necessary process changes (e.g. additional scan processes).
“Autonomous driving will change the production processes in the automotive branch, particularly at our customers – the manufacturers of wire harnesses. Passing on liability to the OEMs will result in them imposing much higher requirements on the suppliers,” explains Bernd Jost, Managing Director of DiIT AG. “At the same time, it is also in the interests of the manufacturers to automate and document their production in order to protect themselves from risk. As always, the question will of course arise as to where a balance can be struck between costs and benefits.”
DiIT AG, based in Krailling near Munich, is the world’s leading provider of integrated software solutions for engineering, manufacturing execution (MES), customized wire harness production and logistics. DiIT‘s competencies are bundled in the “4Wire Solutions” software suite, which is primarily used for the production of wire harnesses and wiring systems in the automotive industry and other industrial sectors. By digitalizing the value chains, the company‘s innovative software optimizes and controls complex development, manufacturing and logistics processes and supports quality assurance and traceability. DiIT was founded in 1990 and has subsidiaries in Berlin (Germany) and Arad (Romania). DiIT is also represented in the key markets Mexico and China. The company offers a comprehensive services package to both large and small customers which covers consulting, project management and customized implementation and training. The DiIT support line is available during 24 hours and 365 days. DiIT is a wholly-owned, independently managed company of the Schleuniger Group. Schleuniger is a globally active technology company and a leading solution supplier in the wire processing industry.
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