Yerra, V. and Pilla, S., "IIoT-Enabled Production System for Composite Intensive Vehicle Manufacturing," SAE Int. J. Engines 10(2):209-214, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0290.
The advancements in automation, big data computing and high bandwidth networking has expedited the realization of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT has made inroads into many sectors including automotive, semiconductors, electronics, etc. Particularly, it has created numerous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing sector to realize the new aura of platform concepts such as smart material flow control. This paper provides a thought provoking application of IIoT in automotive composites body shop. By creating a digital twin for every physical part, we no longer need to adhere to the conventional manufacturing processes and layouts, thus opening up new opportunities in terms of equipment and space utilization. The century-old philosophy of the assembly line might not be the best layout for vehicle manufacturing, thus proposing a novel assembly grid layout inspired from a colony of ants working to accomplish a common goal. Value added time per part are compared between the traditional and proposed manufacturing process layout using virtual plant simulation tools. This value added time is directly proportional to operating and capital cost. Moreover, the study proposes real-time multilayer communication that has the potential to vastly improves tasks such as inventory management, proactive/preventive maintenance, inline quality control, flexibility to part variabilities and design development.