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Continental's project 'DIAZI' turns production plants into digital factories

By Guest Author,

Added 07 November 2023

Initial project successes have already been integrated into existing production processes.

Continental is digitalising the entire production process for automotive components. The technology company has formed a partner consortium with a total of eight renowned IT and process optimisation companies, universities, and specialist start-ups.

The three-year project is called "Digitalisation of the Industrialisation Process in the Automotive and Supplier Industries" (or DIAZI) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

The aim of the DIAZI project is to transfer production plants into the digital world. In the future, new production lines will be planned, simulated, and operated digitally, increasing the efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of modern automotive plants and allowing them to keep pace with faster development cycles, complex supply chains, and changing customer requirements.

Thomas Ebenhöch, Head, Operations for the User Experience (UX) Business Area in Continental Automotive, said, "Now, through digital simulation, artificial intelligence, and data management in the cloud, we're bringing innovations to market faster, more efficiently, more sustainably, and more cost-effectively across the manufacturing industry. Early results show we're on the right track. Our vision of the ‘digital factory' is clearly taking shape."

The project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and financed by the European Reconstruction and Resilience Facility, started on January 1, 2023, and is designed to run for around three years.

The first phase of the project aimed to define specific demonstration models within various fields of digitalisation in order to include the entire virtual line planning and commissioning process, from data-based process optimisation to application operation.

 

The first successes of the DIAZI project show great potential. For example, the consortium partners in the "Data-based Process Optimisation" work package were able to display the complete data stream from several production lines in a newly created cloud environment and prepare it for effective data analysis. This data helped the DIAZI team in the "Virtual Line Planning and Commissioning" work package to simulate production lines and optimise existing production processes. Continental's customers are already benefiting from this, for example, in the accelerated production of new display solutions.

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