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July 11, 2019

Seat starts drone component deliveries

Seat says its factory in Martorell is the first Spanish plant to receive components via drone delivery.

By Rhodri Morgan

Seat says its factory in Martorell is the first Spanish plant to receive components via drone delivery.

In collaboration with Grupo Sese, the Spanish carmaker has a service connecting Sese’s logistics centre in Abrera with the Seat factory in Martorell using drones.

The service will continue with deliveries of steering wheels and airbags to the Seat assembly lines. The pilot project is being carried out with 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 slightly more than 2km distance which separates both facilities for just in time deliveries in 15 minutes, a process currently made by truck and taking 90 minutes.

The 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.

The drone’s batteries are recharged using renewable energy.

“Delivery using drones is going to revolutionise logistics, as for example in the case of Seat it will reduce delivery time by 80%,” said Seat Production and Logistics VP, Christian Vollmer. 

“With this innovation we are boosting Industry 4.0 and we will become more efficient, agile and competitive.”

Seat is adapting all its production activities to the digital environment with the most disruptive technologies on the market.

As an example of the 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.

It secured an award in the supply chain digitalisation category, which King Felipe VI presented to Vollmer.

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