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Audi & XL2 | Cloud-solution for the parameterization of shopfloor stations

Easy to manage parametrization of data and transmition to stations with SP+OC

Parametrization of shopfloor stations with data on USB sticks is a manual, cumbersome and time-consuming process that doesn’t scale. The existing systems for parameterization are inflexible or not stable enough. Thus, a solution is needed to perform station parameterization remotely with a web application that provides full online control of station parameters. Audi and XL2 implemented the cloud-based system SP+OC on the Industrial Cloud that makes it easy to manage parameterization data and to transmit it to the stations. The system is highly configurable and adjustable for new station types without software changes. With its flexible microservice architecture it is thus reusable also for other use cases that need to transmit data to shopfloor stations. The system is also able to receive manufacturing results data back from the stations, stores them in the cloud, and provides BI visualization tools for analysis.

Furthermore, it enables a feedback loop from the final inspection process to allow automatic optimization of parameter values.

Challenge - Efficient and flexible parameterization of manufacturing and battery check stations needed

Assembly and battery check stations need specific parameterizations for different car or battery models at the assembly line. E.g., stations for rear axle and headlights assembly need specific values for camber or height, battery check stations need adjustments of the battery check program. This kind of calibration is often done manually using USB sticks to transfer parameterization data onto the stations. Manual processes are slow, inflexible and don’t scale. Furthermore, the outbound data transmission is limited: it is difficult to collect and analyze data that occurs in the manufacturing and quality check processes.

Solution - Implement a cloud-based system for management, transmission, and optimization of parameterization data

The SP+OC Use Case provides a web-based UI frontend in the Cloud for a convenient and efficient online maintenance and control of parameterization sets and station master data. The transmission of parameterization data to a manufacturing station happens with one click, that triggers the IoT communication from the Cloud to the shopfloor devices. Different protocols like UDP and MQTT are supported to guarantee compatibility with existing station interfaces.

Although the solution is running in the AWS cloud, it is designed as an Intranet application. This ensures intrusion protection and secures the shopfloor. The OT/IT connection of the cloud to the shopfloor is using the Cloud’s Basic Platform Connectivity Services (BCS).

Manufacturing results data is captured and stored in the Cloud where it can be analyzed with AWS BI tools (QuickSight). Furthermore, the system is prepared to automatically generate optimized parameterization values from measurement results of the final inspection process. Thus, a feedback-loop can be established that brings a real digital and smart manufacturing process to life.

The solution uses a modern software design with decoupled microservices that can be flexibly combined and reused for similar Use Case scenarios. Full scalability and efficient operation are achieved by mostly using serverless AWS services like S3, Lambda and DynamoDB.

Key benefits – Improved agility and flexibility for a digitalized smart manufacturing process

The solution brings high flexibility and increased agility to the manufacturing process and supports multiple car models and variants on the same manufacturing line. It is highly adaptable and can therefore be used not only for battery manufacturing, but also for many other use cases where parameterization data needs to be transmitted to stations on the shopfloor. The implementation of the SP+OC Use Case is already in progress for headlights and other station types.

It is possible to analyze manufacturing results with an easy integration of data analytics systems in the cloud. In the extended use case, self-optimizing parameterization values reduce the need of human interaction and follow the way to a fully digitalized smart manufacturing process.

The Cloud will leverage the digital production to a new level. With XL2 we gained a highly competent partner to extend our capabilities for selected Use Cases on the platform.

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