Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft collaborate to boost efficiency, resilience and sustainability in car production

Mercedes-Benz is connecting its 30 passenger car plants worldwide to the Microsoft Cloud with a co-developed data platform

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 14 Oct 2022 Views icon3261 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft collaborate to boost efficiency, resilience and sustainability in car production

Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker Mercedes-Benz AG and software specialist Microsoft Corp are collaborating to make vehicle production more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

This will be possible with the new MO360 Data Platform that Mercedes-Benz will use to connect its around 30 passenger car plants worldwide to Microsoft Cloud.

The MO360 Data Platform is the evolution of Mercedes-Benz’ digital production ecosystem MO360 and allows teams to identify potential supply chain bottlenecks faster and enable a dynamic prioritisation of production resources towards electric and top-end vehicles.

This unified data platform is standardised on Microsoft Azure, providing Mercedes-Benz with flexibility and cloud computing power to run artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics at global scale while addressing cybersecurity and compliance standards across regions. The platform is already available to teams in EMEA and will be deployed in the US and China.

Joerg Burzer, Board Member, responsible for Production & Supply Chain Management, Mercedes-Benz Group AG said, “This new partnership between Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz will make our global production network more intelligent, sustainable and resilient in an era of geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges. The ability to predict and prevent problems in production and logistics will become a key competitive advantage as we go all electric.”

With the MO360 Data Platform, the carmaker can create a virtual replica of its vehicle manufacturing process, combining insights from assembly, production planning, shop floor logistics, supply chain and quality management. The virtual simulation and optimisation of processes before running them on the shop floor, helps to accelerate operational efficiency and unlock energy savings. For example, managers can optimise operational patterns to reduce CO2-emissions in production.

Mercedes-Benz is also exploring the integration of the MO360 Data Platform with data sources from other departments to enable a digital feedback loop that will spur continuous learning and innovation across the Group.

The recently opened Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus Berlin is the home base for the MO360 Data Platform engineering teams and will become the MO360 training and qualification centre for implementing digital approaches globally.

Jan Brecht, Chief Information Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG: “With the MO360 Data Platform, we democratize technology and data in manufacturing. As we are moving towards a 100 percent digital enterprise, data is becoming everyone’s business at Mercedes-Benz. Our colleagues on the shop floor have access to production and management-related real-time data. They can work with drill-down dashboards and make data-based decisions.”

Increase supply chain resilience and efficiency
With the new centralised data platform, teams can instantly analyse and visualise production data, to faster optimise production processes and identify potential supply chain bottlenecks. This enables a dynamic allocation of operational resources within and across plants to prioritize the manufacturing of low-emission and top-end luxury vehicles.

The Mercedes-Benz Operations Logistics team will be able to solve supply chain bottlenecks much faster. They can compare the availability of components, including semiconductors, with production orders and position this data against production parameters including operational running plans. As a result, plant managers keep the production running and prioritise relevant vehicles even if supply chain challenges occur.

Move at full speed towards an all-electric future
The MO360 Data Platform will make it easier to maintain production of both electric and combustion-engine vehicles on a single production line as the market demand gradually shifts towards an all-electric future. To tackle shortages in components and prevent delivery delays, the MO360 Data Platform will enable teams to explore a variety of production scenarios depending on the availability of components like semiconductors, based on real-time data about the quality of parts and equipment. This is expected to result in productivity gains of 20 percent in passenger car production by 2025 and help to avoid unplanned downtimes and schedule maintenance work in a timely and CO2-friendly fashion.

 

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