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July 14, 2020

Skoda starts automated parts supply for CNC lines

Skoda says new parts for the CNC processing lines are now ordered automatically at its Vrchlabi component plant.

By Rhodri Morgan

Skoda says new parts for the CNC processing lines are now ordered automatically at its Vrchlabi component plant.

The parts are then transported to the CNC machines by robots guided by Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology.

“By taking this new automation step, Vrchlabí is continuing to strengthen its position as one of the most state-of-the-art production facilities in the industry,” said Skoda head of Component Production, Christian Bleiel.

“The collaboration between man and machine is a future-oriented concept we are consistently pursuing and that will further increase the productivity of this high-tech site.”

Parts are now automatically supplied to the CNC processing lines in production. In the warehouse, logistics employees place the required components on a load carrier. Guided by IoT sensor technology, an automatic transport robot then picks up the carrier and takes it to one of the CNC lines.

On its return journey, the robot takes an empty load carrier with it and automatically reports back to the parts warehouse.

Due to the use of IoT technologies, the process allows for an automated, continuous supply of parts to where they are needed. Logisticians are no longer required to enter production areas because all components are transported to the CNC lines automatically.

Using the system, the CNC machines are able to be supplied with more than 50,000 parts per day. Costs of the automated process are expected to be covered in less than three years.

In 2012, Skoda modernised its Vrchlabí site and converted it into a component plant in 18 months.

In recent years, Skoda has introduced numerous Industry 4.0 technologies. In 2018, for example, the manufacturer started to transport parts between its metrology centre and CNC processing machines using an automatic robot for the first time.

The component plant in Vrchlabí is due to be the manufacturer’s entirely CO2-neutral production site before the end of this year. By far the greatest carbon dioxide savings were achieved by switching to using renewable energies.

This reduced CO2 emissions from an initial 45,000 tonnes per year to the current 3,000 tonnes.

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