The fourth industrial revolution is involving all of Magneti Marelli’s Business Lines, redesigning processes which are ever-increasingly supported by digitalisation. There are two fundamental results which we are aiming to achieve: quality in products and efficiency in terms of productivity and profitability. These objectives are reached through the substantial improvement of manufacturing processes which make use of enabling technologies for Industry 4.0, analysis of the large amounts of data which are generated by systems, and support for workers’ decision-making processes. The digital revolution affects all areas of the Company, beginning with the most advanced plants in terms of World Class Manufacturing – integrated methods for the organisation of the manufacturing cycle which protect safety, environmental aspects, energy, quality, maintenance and logistics in the plants – which therefore have access to a more stable foundation for the reaching of advanced objectives.
In order to face up to the process of digitalisation, the company has created a dedicated internal organisation consisting of a central work group which collaborates with Business Line contacts who in turn liaise with the plants. There is a digital contact in each plant with skills regarding the IOT (Internet of Things) who works with an operational group that has detailed knowledge of the factory processes. This structure is assisted on a central level by six specialised groups, each dedicated to a specific “cluster” (quality, manufacturing, logistics, maintenance, environment and safety, energy) which support and facilitate the implementation of the programme at all levels of the organisation.
In order to involve Manufacturing workers from all levels of the organisation in the Industry 4.0 programme, an idea generation programme has been launched, based on a bottom-up approach. Initially 15 plants were involved, in which each operative group – with support from the six central clusters – was called on to propose innovative ideas (use cases) which respond to specific requirements. The generation and selection of ideas is “continuous” and requires the periodical organisation of workshops. As of today, hundreds of ideas have been generated, selected through criteria of economic sustainability according to cost/benefit analysis. Of these, testing and implementation will take place for those ideas which, as well as providing economic benefits, stand out for their possible replication in other plants. The company aims to create digital application models which bring together diverse use cases to adapt according to the particular requirements of each manufacturing unit. The applications developed mainly concern predictive maintenance and quality, the allocation of personnel on production lines, logistics and production management. The aim of the Company is to extend the project to all of the plants.
Magneti Marelli’s Industry 4.0 programme is aimed at reaching 3 evolutionary steps:
> Field communication: this involves fitting systems with sensors and devices capable of collecting and organising data from machines, sending them to superior systems and receiving information in return which allows the machines to respond automatically or to communicate with operators. This step also includes innovative systems for data processing, so-called Edge Computing, provided with intelligent algorithms which are installed in the machines. Not all plants have the same level of progress. The plants which are required to innovate manufacturing machinery more frequently have more up-to-date technology than those with consolidated processes, where digitalisation would lead to more invasive changes.
> Manufacturing Execution System (MES): a computer system dedicated to the management of the production system. Magneti Marelli is committed to the designing and implementation of important innovations in the areas of maintenance, quality, internal logistics and production planning.
> Cloud: this is where the data are processed and shared on a central level and with all of the people connected to the system. It represents one of the enabling factors of Industry 4.0, in that it allows for the processing and archiving of large quantities of data in real time, with a considerable increase in processing capacity. These functions facilitate the identification of new technological trends and result in increased flexibility for the company, which is capable of responding more rapidly to changes in the market.
Magneti Marelli examines digital innovation in partnership with research centres, universities and suppliers, with which it sets up collaborations which are capable of strengthening and accelerating the capacity for internal innovation.