Ford laid the foundation stone for its
Sanand Plant in 2012. The plant spreads over total of 460 acres of area for Stamping, Vehicle Operations, Engine Plant, Service Parts Production processes. The plant with world-class integrated
manufacturing facility became fully operational with products rolling out by
the end of first quarter of 2015. Ford Sanand was installed with
production capacity of 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines per annum.
Before the commissioning of The Hi-Tech’s AMIR, the company used
unskilled workers to transfer the finished goods from the Production cells to
the storage area. Push/pull trolleys helped carrying 1Tonne load. A challenge
that Ford faced in its production was its dependency on the operator. The
entire application of fetching raw materials and moving finished goods relied
on the operator’s efficiency. Even a single lag or delay in the process
affected the production. Introduction of automation through installation of
Conveyor systems was one of the solutions Ford could opt but the cost of the
installation was to give up the free aisle space. Moreover, the installation of
conveyors restrained the firm to stringent spacing, and compromising the
flexibility in terms of new installations. Ford realised the limitation in
implementing the conveyor based system, even a single point of failure in the
material movement was capable to stop the entire production process.
The Hi-tech Robotic Systemz saw an opportunity to improve the then
existing facility and proposed the use of the Industry 4.0 based technology of
the Autonomous Mobile Robots. The
Robots combines advanced engineering with innovative automation, including precision
navigation technology and safety components. This ensures the highest possible
level of reliability and safety. The adaptive artificial brain based technology
of Autonomous robot encompasses the LIDAR method for its navigation, thus
eliminating the problem in making changes to the existing plant area.
“The tugger solved one of the
major problems of material transportation that Ford was facing. Moving
1200-1400kg load trolley using man power was cumbersome task. The company had
to invest the labour to achieve the desired output else, the efficiency was
compromised” says ABC, Manager-Production Ford, Sanand.
The Hi-Tech Robotics deployed a
fleet of 29 Autonomous Robots, interacting and sharing information with each
other using CCU (Central Control Unit), to the Sanand Plant in March, 2015. Mobile
robots are accessorized with automatic hitching/unhitching to completely remove
operator’s involvement. Till now, the
Mobile robots have been able to diverge the XXX km walk of Ford’s employees
towards much productive side.