The Seat factory in Martorell is the first Spanish plant to receive components via drone delivery. In collaboration with Grupo Sese, the Spanish carmaker has a pioneering service connecting Sese’s logistics centre in Abrera with the Seat factory in Martorell using drones.
The first parts delivery service between two production plants in Spain by drone was officially made today, and from now on will continue with deliveries of steering wheels and airbags to the Seat assembly lines. The pilot project is being carried out under the supervision of the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) and will go forward in an experimental phase with several flights per day.
The addition of drones will improve flexibility on the production lines by connecting the just over two-kilometre distance that separates both facilities for just in time fast deliveries in only 15 minutes, a process which is currently done by truck and takes 90 minutes. With this move, every time a part is needed on the production line, delivery will be made quickly, thus improving efficiency.
This innovation is framed within Seat’s commitment to Industry 4.0. The company is now undergoing an ambitious transformation process aimed at making the Martorell factory smarter and further digitalised and connected in order to boost efficiency, flexibility and sustainability. Delivery using drones represents a reduction in CO2 emissions compared to truck transport and in addition, the drone’s batteries are recharged using renewable energy.
Seat vice-president for production and logistics Dr Christian Vollmer, who brought this idea to Seat, emphasized, “Today’s flight is the first step in transforming the supply chain in the automotive industry. Delivery using drones is going to revolutionise logistics, as for example in the case of SEAT it will reduce delivery time by 80 percent. With this innovation we are boosting Industry 4.0 and we will become more efficient, agile and competitive, as well as much more sustainable.”
Furthermore, Grupo Sese CEO Angel Pueyo indicated, “This project that Seat presented to us a few months ago is a clear example of our intention to be at the forefront of innovation and process development that can optimise and improve our clients’ supply chain and that positions us in the market as a global, comprehensive logistics operator.”
A benchmark of Industry 4.0
Seat is undergoing a transformation process to become a smart factory and is adapting all its production activities to the digital environment with the most disruptive technologies on the market. The carmaker is developing and applying digital tools and solutions aimed at producing cars that make the company more efficient, flexible and agile, and that put the customer at the core of its strategy.
As an example of this transformation, Seat plans its supply chain with simulation tools and uses smart picking and autonomous navigation systems. Furthermore, the company has introduced big data tools and artificial intelligence to monitor and control the main facilities and infrastructure of the supply chain in real time. Seat's innovation in its logistics processes has recently been acknowledged by the International Logistics Exhibition (SIL) held in Barcelona at the end of June with an award in the supply chain digitalisation category, which King Felipe VI presented to Seat vice-president for production and logistics Dr Christian Vollmer.