Overcoming restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Dürr Group completes one of the biggest paint shops in China for the SAIC Volkswagen (SVW) joint venture plant on schedule.
Production capacity of the new plant in Anting is twice that of a standard paint shop at 120 bodies per hour, supported by software and artificial intelligence at unprecedented levels, Dürr says in a news release.
A smart painting line records about 3,500 digital data points for every body, while sensors supply gigabytes of data in process values for temperature, pressure and humidity. This information is the raw material for increasing the overall equipment effectiveness of the paint shop.
Dürr supplied its proprietary DXQ software products for the highly digitized SAIC Volkswagen JV plant near Shanghai, where various electric models and conventionally powered vehicles are manufactured.
Mechanical engineering and IT expertise went hand in hand in the SVW project from the beginning, Dürr says. The digital solutions were developed in parallel – from the RoDip dip-coating system through paint booths with EcoDryScrubber dry separation to the oven and air pollution controls.
During the 18-month project, six international product development teams from Dürr worked with up to 10 developers on the new technologies. They coordinated closely with SVW.
All software functions were first tested at Dürr headquarters in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, in an environment that faithfully replicated the conditions in Anting.
SVW uses nearly all modules from the DXQ control software for higher-level plant control, enabling the lifecycle of each body to be tracked from beginning to end, Dürr says. This starts with receipt of a production order and translation of the order information into concrete production steps.
For the first time, consumption data such as energy, water or air usage can be evaluated historically over long periods with the help of Dürr’s DXQbusiness.intelligence software. This lays the foundation for sustainable plant operation.
Also, employees can manage and filter alarm functions directly at the plant’s point of origin using tablets (below) should the line come to a stop, thanks to mobile apps enabled by various DXQ products, Dürr says.
For SVW, mobile versions let employees quickly access maintenance data at the point of origin using tablets by scanning QR codes on plant components. This enables the employees to work more flexibly than is possible with stationary PCs.
At SVW in Anting, the DXQequipment.maintenance software is being used for the first time for a complete paint shop, and as a mobile version. The software has interfaces to the plant equipment’s almost 130 controllers and uses them to determine each piece of equipment’s need for maintenance based on up-to-date information such as operating hours or counter readings.
Several terabytes of digital data per year are collected, saved and evaluated by the intelligent algorithms of the DXQplant.analytics application in the new paint shop.
If an employee detects an irregularity on the paint surface during a quality inspection, he enters it into the tablet. DXQplant.analytics correlate recorded quality results with order data (production number, derivative, color, etc.) and process data based on artificial intelligence to identify patterns.
A broad base of data makes it possible to track fault causes in a targeted way. Process data from other suppliers’ components and systems also are evaluated at SVW in Anting using DXQplant.analytics.
The coronavirus pandemic did not affect the date for the start of production despite the several weeks of shutdown in China and ongoing travel restrictions. The internal cooperation between the Dürr plant and software experts in Germany and China went without a hitch – and with a greater reliance on digital communication than any previous project, the engineering firm says.