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Bosch Huayu Steering Systems

Project scope

Tier 1 supplier Bosch Huayu Steering Systems (BHSS) in Wuhan manufactures components for steering and driver assistance systems for the automotive industry. The INDUSTRIE 4.0 AWARD-winning solution enabled the company to transform a complex processing flow with high throughput times and rotating inventory into an efficient one-piece flow.

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Solution

The award winner specializes in state-of-the-art steering systems with a volume of around 700 components per batch size and with approximately 70,000 parts in circulation. Prior to the start of the Industrie 4.0 project, BHSS required approximately 90 hours of lead time from the start of production to completion. This time span was to be significantly shortened and flexibility within production improved at the same time. At the same time, the use of Industrie 4.0 technologies was required to minimize the time-consuming and error-heavy manual movement of materials between workstations as well as the previously paper-based collection of information.

 

To address these and other challenges, the company implemented a range of technologies and applications including MES, APS, AGV, HMI and RFID. It also converted the manufacturing flow from dedicated lines to a modular production system.

Highlight: Flexible, automated manufacturing

With the introduction of an APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling System), the award winner made its planning processes more flexible and can now adjust deliveries to unexpected production fluctuations more quickly. In addition, manual activities were transferred to AGVs, which now link every single production step. The only manual material movements that remained were the supply of material during the first production step and the removal of finished goods after the last production step.

Should exceptional situations such as machine breakdowns or material shortages occur, automatic rescheduling intervenes. The production plan is automatically updated and the production manager, who is notified immediately, only has to approve it. In the event of quality problems, restrictions in the APS system and rescheduling are automatically triggered.

Highlight: Highly automated material flow

The material call-off in BHSS’ production is based on live data of machine utilization and is networked with the automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in the plant, which feed information into the system about the next available production module with free capacity.

Each transport crate in BHSS production contains 48 components. The crates are equipped with RFID tags, and the production lines are equipped with RFID readers that track locations. Process and machine data from the MES is stored at the part level and synchronized with the RFID data so that material data is available in real time.

Highlight: Real-time manufacturing status at a glance

The current system is networked with MES, ERP, WMS, MRP, RCS, LIMS, QMS and other systems, exchanging data in real time. Based on real-time planning data, electronic value streams can be displayed in real time and process and operational indicators can be visualized. In addition, the MES can display the production status in real time.

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  • Reduction of lead time from 90 to 12 hours
  • Reduction of batch size from >700 to 48 pieces
  • Lowering of FTEs in direct areas by half

Bosch Huayu Steering Systems

Winner Category:
Smart Factory
Industry:
Automotive
Employees:
< 10,000