Better overview of one of VW’s most complex locations
To keep a better overview of its stocks and make them ready to transport more quickly, Audi is now using a drone system developed in-house. Vehicles ready for dispatch are found more quickly and passed on for transport. The drone flies autonomously over the vehicle shipping area in Neckarslum. Meanwhile, GPS and RFID technology are used to identify and store all positions of the vehicles flown over. This is intended to support Audi’s employees in completing the shipping of the cars.
Audi describes the site in Neckarslum as one of the most complex in the entire Volkswagen Group, as it houses many different models. This makes a supporting unit in the dispatch department particularly profitable. Steffen Conrad, project manager in the Innovation Management department at Audi’s Neckarsulm site says: “The rapid localization of the vehicles creates even higher process quality and is a further building block on the road to digital production. The drone supports us here from a completely new perspective. We will now share our experience with other Audi sites and within the VW Group”.
An important component and the basis of the drone is the RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip with vehicle identification number, which is already contained in every Audi in the body shop. The small machine flies over the surface on pre-defined routes at a height of more than ten meters and identifies all parked cars. As soon as the drone has completed its sightseeing flight, it automatically transmits all the data obtained via W-LAN to a database after landing. The results are then available to the employees on a digital map.
During the mission, employees monitor the drone’s flight using a laptop or tablet. Should an error occur, it is easy to intervene in the operation by remote control. To take over the project, four employees were instructed on how to handle drones.