Stellantis hosts Factory Booster Day to solve production challenges through innovation

Eighth annual event held in Betim, Brazil, saw 99 solutions demonstrated by 64 suppliers and startups from around the world to tackle 35 Stellantis plant challenges.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 09 Nov 2023 Views icon3079 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Stellantis organised its annual Factory Booster Day on November 8 to encourage its production professionals across the world to audition solutions to challenges identified by manufacturing plants.

An element of the Stellantis Production Way, smart manufacturing is powered by an Open Challenge process: the company invites suppliers and startups to demonstrate solutions that will help plants address challenges and meet strategic goals.

The company’s manufacturing and technical experts met with 64 suppliers and startups from around the world to audition and possibly adopt innovative solutions that can reduce CO2 emissions, improve product quality, decrease costs and help deliver an industry-leading customer experience.

The annual event, now in its eighth year, is known as Factory Booster Day. Beginning as a bottom-up effort, Stellantis’ global manufacturing facilities identified 35 challenges that align to their strategic goals and the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan. In a unique process, Stellantis shared these factory challenges with current and potential future suppliers, including startup companies and universities, in an ‘open call’, asking for their best ideas.

The process culminated with the 2023 Factory Booster Day event in Betim, Brazil, where selected companies presented 99 of the most promising solutions to the challenges. In addition to the physical event, Stellantis manufacturing team members from around the world viewed presentations and demonstrations virtually through a metaverse platform. Plant managers who believe a solution can solve the challenge are empowered to launch a pilot test. Test results are reviewed and shared by an Innovation Committee, led by engineering and plant leadership. Successful solutions are then deployed at other Stellantis plants around the globe.

Some of the challenges for 2023 Factory Booster Day include:

- How to improve process performance by leveraging AI
- How to model, measure and better manage energy consumption
- How to detect loose material or contamination in a BEV battery

“In an automotive industry where disruption and opportunities are unlike any other time, we are building a strong community of actors that will bring innovative technologies and smart solutions to our facilities,” said Arnaud Deboeuf, Stellantis Chief Manufacturing Officer. “This great annual event allows us, together, to improve our efficiency and competitiveness, with our customers being the ultimate winner. I want to thank each of our business partners who brought us innovations across all fronts.”

Innovations previously adopted by Stellantis manufacturing plants include:

- High-tech welding of short flanges on vehicle doors, which delivered improvements in quality and stability of the welded part and less cost, compared with laser welding.
- Advanced computer vision tool that can assemble parts on a moving assembly line. Computer algorithms enable tools to track any object. The system is easily integrated into an assembly line at minimal cost.
- Real-time energy use measurement and management with cloud-based analytics. The system proactively manages energy usage to meet targets and detects anomalies.

While the challenges explored for Factory Booster Day can be diverse, such as reducing energy usage or ensuring a defect-free product, they all play a role in meeting the ambitions of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan:

- Becoming a carbon net zero corporation by 2038, all scopes included, with single-digit percentage compensation of remaining emissions. In 2022, Stellantis achieved an 11% reduction of the manufacturing carbon footprint of scopes 1 and 2 since 2021.
- Reducing production costs by 40% by 2030, including deploying automation, digital solutions and artificial intelligence.
- Achieving improved product quality with optimized defect detection, delivering an industry-leading customer experience.
- Earning recognition as a great place to work for ergonomics, health preservation and safety, along with diversity and inclusion.

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