Issue: Apr 2015


Ubisense Launches Smart Factory Assembly to Optimize Flexibility and Efficiency for Vehicle Makers



Virtual Station and Smart Device products virtualize fixed workstations, enabling manufacturers to reduce the cost of complexity associated with the demands of mass customization

by Jon Knox

Ubisense Group plc (AIM: UBI), a leader in enterprise location intelligence solutions, today launched Smart Factory Assembly to help vehicle manufacturers worldwide address critical operational challenges along the assembly line and reduce the increasing cost of manufacturing complexity. Smart Factory Assembly enables vehicle manufacturers to break free from fixed workstations and embrace the virtualization required to manage complexity on high-mix, high-volume assembly lines. With this level of flexibility, manufacturers can achieve measurable cost reduction, guaranteed productivity gains, quality improvements and the ability to effectively manage mass product customization.

 

 Mass customization in high-volume manufacturing has caused a dramatic shift in the level of complexity in assembly plants. The modern assembly plant must be flexible and agile in order to manage product variability without introducing waste or compromising quality. Smart Factory Assembly provides the basis for completely uncoupling processes from fixed workstations by virtualizing tasks previously performed within mechanical limits.

 

 “Intricate manufacturing and assembly lines coupled with the influx of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and solutions has demanded flexible and agile operations that was previously restricted due to static workstation and assembly cells,” said Srikanth Madapura Shivasamy (M.S.), senior research analyst, Frost & Sullivan. “Ubisense has developed compelling solutions which include virtual workstations and intelligent location management systems that can cater to the mass and rapid customization of customer requirements.”

 

 Ubisense Smart Factory is a production-proven portfolio of manufacturing optimization solutions designed specifically to help manufacturers reduce the cost of complexity. By accurately identifying and locating process-critical assets, Smart Factory provides real-time operational awareness, adaptive control and data-driven insights. The Smart Factory Assembly products leverage Ubisense’s location intelligence platform to virtualize the workstation on two levels:

 

-   -          Virtual Station - eliminates the cost and burden associated with relocating and rebalancing process identification points by removing manual and fixed-automatic identification systems. Virtual Station operates using virtualized vehicle identification triggers that can be easily added and moved in software, greatly simplifying the need to accommodate new processes or move existing tasks during line rebalancing.

 

-               Smart Device - drives significant reductions in errors and re-work leading to better throughput by creating software-defined zones around a vehicle which constitute a virtual device control zone. This zone can be used in all the ways a fixed workstation can be used, for example, controlling the region within which wireless tools can operate. However, software-defined device zones are fully agile and can accommodate many kinds of real-time variation, such as varying task duration for different models and moving workstations that allow workers to catch up or work ahead.

 

A large US automaker is currently adopting Ubisense Smart Factory Assembly as an essential component in its wireless tool strategy. Wireless tools are an important step in this manufacturer’s goal to significantly reduce the cost of line rebalancing, but transitioning to wireless tools alone is not enough. With the addition of Virtual Station, this Ubisense customer can relocate its online ID points and wireless tools quickly, and Smart Device will ensure those wireless tools operate on the correct car body to maintain quality standards.

 

“Ubisense Smart Factory Assembly products help manufacturers optimize efficiency and reduce errors in manual assembly processes, saving significant time and operational costs,” said Adrian Jennings, vice president of manufacturing industry strategy, Ubisense. “These applications also provide the fundamental connection between cyber and physical which is critical for any Industry 4.0 project. Manufacturers can gain significant value from these applications in the short term and leverage this technology along their path to Industry 4.0, the Smart Factory.”

 

Availability

Smart Device and Virtual Station are now generally available worldwide as standalone applications or they may be purchased as the Smart Factory Assembly bundled solution. For more information visit: http://ubisense.net/en/products/smart-factory.

 

About Ubisense

Ubisense (AIM: UBI), a global leader in Enterprise Location Intelligence solutions, helps manufacturing, communications and utility companies improve operational efficiency and boost profitability. Ubisense location intelligence systems bring clarity to complexity, enabling customers to revolutionize their operational effectiveness in a measurable way. Founded in 2002, Ubisense is headquartered in Cambridge, England, with offices in North America, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Philippines and Singapore. For more information visit www.ubisense.net or follow us on Twitter at @UbisenseFactory.



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