By Nnamdi Odumody
German automotive giant Volkswagen, and Amazon, have announced a collaboration to build a digital platform, the VW Industrial Cloud, to connect and manage the automaker’s manufacturing plants and supply chain.
Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have teamed up to work on a cloud-based platform to transform the auto giant’s “manufacturing and logistics processes.”
The multi-year, global agreement, announced on Wednesday, would see Volkswagen use a range of services from AWS, including machine learning, the internet of things and analytics.
Among other things, these technologies will be used to boost plant efficiency, increase the quality of vehicles, and improve production flexibility.
The VW Industrial Cloud will integrate data from more than 30,000 facilities, including VW’s 122 manufacturing facilities and 1500 partnerships, in its supply chain. Through this partnership, Volkswagen can use AWS’s Cloud Computing and IOT services to increase facilities efficiency, improve production flexibility, and increase vehicle quality. This means that VW will be able to identify issues or opportunities, for efficiency, in real time and get them solved.
The VW Industrial Cloud will aggregate real time manufacturing data to assess performance and identify friction points using AWS IOT services. The cloud will use AWS IOT offerings which include Greengrass, Core, Analytics and SiteWise, to collect, process and analyze data from plant floors. It will also be used to track parts and vehicles. Equipped with data and analytics from across its facilities, VW will be able to easily identify what production or supply chain segments need improvement, and more quickly to take corrective action.
“The Volkswagen Group, with its global expertise in automobile production, and AWS, with its technological know-how, complement each other extraordinarily well,” Oliver Blume, who is chairman of the executive board of Porsche AG and a member of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said in a statement Wednesday.
Amazon’s Sage Maker service will allow the automaker to quickly build, train and deploy machine learning models for plant equipment using the Edge. Volkswagen can use Sage Maker to assist in making its production machinery more efficient and adaptable for a wider range of tasks.
VW will deploy AWS Outposts onsite to offer a consistent experience for latency sensitive applications. AWS Outposts brings native AWS services, infrastructure and operating models to factory floors in order to provide seamless functionality between devices and the cloud. With AWS Outposts in VW’s facilities, IOT devices will be able to communicate with infrastructure in close proximity instead of with a distant server which can lead to lower latency.
Manufacturers operate under tight margins and must eliminate inefficiencies to drive greater profits and smart technologies like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Augmented Reality and 3D Printing can help them achieve that. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria should initiate discussions across all its different member sector groups on Industry 4.0, and how migration to smart manufacturing will enable them eliminate waste from their processes while achieving higher profitability. Of course MainOne and Innoson Motors should explore to replicate this same AWS-Volkswagen partnership in Nigeria.