Valmet Automotive has today launched the Innovation Center at the Uusikaupunki car plant. The center is part of the Intelligent Manufacturing program, and it is essential for developing and piloting future solutions to be implemented in the company’s vehicle contract manufacturing operations.
The Intelligent Manufacturing program is the company’s response to current changes in the automotive industry, which are making the operating environment increasingly complicated and thus forecasting more difficult. Therefore, Valmet Automotive needs increasingly flexible and efficient processes and solutions to ensure the optimal use of the car plant’s capacity.
The innovation center plays a key role in the Intelligent Manufacturing program. It enables Valmet Automotive to develop and test solutions that increase the company’s ability to manufacture several products at the same time, utilize different processes, improve productivity and serve customers with different needs.
During the starting phase, Valmet Automotive uses the innovation center for piloting a flexible welding robot cell without the traditional jigs, and automatic guided vehicles (AGV) for the needs of internal logistics. The company has also acquired a virtual welding system for the training of the body shop experts.
The center enables probing the possibilities offered by an in-house 5G network for fast data transfer and function controls. Solutions are also developed for collecting and mining data for various purposes. Sustainability is another focus area, for example with a lighting solution that illuminates only areas where there are people.
- When we launched the Intelligent Manufacturing program a couple of years ago, we wanted to ensure the highest standards of vehicle production also in the future. Now the Innovation Center plays a key role in the program implementation, says Pasi Rannus, SVP, Vehicle Contract Manufacturing, Valmet Automotive.
In the role of a vehicle contract manufacturer, Valmet Automotive must have the ability to meet customer needs related to flexibility, speed, and volume of production. Alternatives are required to the traditional production lines dedicated to a certain vehicle model, like a network of flexible production units with a highly automated process that adapts to various production needs.