by Valérie Calloch - Innovation

The Maubeuge plant: at the heart of the digital transformation

A wide-ranging digital transformation has been in place at all the group's plants since 2017. The Maubeuge plant, already recognized for its performance, is fully committed to the digitalization of its production methods. The aim is to connect people, products and processes, from orders through to vehicle deliveries to customers.

An essential player in the electric vehicle excellence center in France, the plant is planning to invest in the next generation of Kangoo and Kangoo Z.E. light commercial vehicles.

The site is rolling out the resources to prepare for the future and adapt so as to respond to customer requirements and new challenges in the automotive sector.

An original meeting between players in Manufacturing 4.0

In May 2018 all the digital coordinators from all the world regions met at the Maubeuge site.

After sharing their roadmaps, each coordinator presented the best practices at their plants. Country initiatives are enhancing the global digital plan. They are reviewed and applied cross-functionally once it is shown that they can contribute to the performance of other group plants. The goal is to develop simple and mobile solutions on work stations, introduce collaborative working methods through new tools, and process issues in real time. The meeting was also an opportunity to focus on innovations at plants and demonstrate that they make sense only if they are truly integrated in day-to-day work.

Supply chain management to plan demand, manage suppliers, and optimize logistics in warehouses with a drone

Focus on a few digital initiatives

Supply chain management to plan demand, manage suppliers, and optimize logistics in warehouses with a drone

The most spectacular of the factory of the future’s equipment is a drone piloted by a tablet. The drone flies closely over immense aisles of stored parts registering all reference numbers with unequaled speed and agility. This innovation steered by Maubeuge plant and developed in partnership with Hardis, is currently operational. Not only does it boost productivity significantly but it also economizes on storage areas and levels of stocks.

“Call to station”: to display calls in real time on the screens set up in each section of the plant and summarize data processing for team heads.

The Maubeuge plant is piloting this successful example, with the IT resource being used to manage quality at work stations. The ability of operators to immediately identify and qualify dysfunctions serves to increase responsiveness in defect processing. The result: a 50% reduction in operator calls in identified sections of the production line for alerts on station dysfunctions.

Tablets for team heads: these make managers more mobile on the ground and boost information sharing between teams.

The tablets enable managers to monitor the results of their teams in real time and quickly adapt their management to the day’s priorities: monitoring quality performance, controlling resources, making work-station observations, checking standard operation files, etc. Managers can access these apps in a few touches wherever they are in the workshop. The time saved allows them to refocus on the processing of quality problems.

Tablets for team heads: these make managers more mobile on the ground and boost information sharing between teams.Zero paper in manufacturing.

The Maubeuge plant has initiated a project on the drastic reduction of printed manufacturing documents and stands as a pilot plant in this respect.

Since 2015 over 100 work stations have been monitored and the use of labels, tickets and sheets of paper used to track parts and vehicles in assembly has been divided by five. The result: substantial savings, a reduction in non-value added at work stations and, of course, a positive environmental impact. 

To take things further, the site is now testing e-paper, electronic ink screens for the dynamic display of price labels. Applied at the plant, this technology could entirely eradicate paper and also improve the traceability of packaging, vehicles and assembly operations.

Maubeuge a key player in the electric excellence hub in France 

With nearly 2,200 people working at the plant in 2017 and having produced 19 models since its creation, the Maubeuge manufacturing site has been the birthplace of emblematic vehicles such as the Renault 15 and Fuego.

Since 1997 Maubeuge has exclusively manufactured Kangoo and its variants. Kangoo Z.E. rounded out the LCV range in 2011.

In 2012, thanks to the plant’s recognized expertise in the production of small LCVs, Daimler, now a Groupe Renault partner, selected Maubeuge to produce the Mercedes Citan. Maubeuge produced the one millionth Kangoo in 2016. In 2017 the plant produced nearly 5,000 Kangoo Z.E.

The Maubeuge plant is committed to the development of the electric vehicle excellence center in France and is planning to invest in the next generation of Kangoo among which Kangoo Z.E. light commercial vehicles.

The site is investing to prepare for the future and with a view to responding to customer requirements and new challenges in the automotive sector.

The modernization and digitalization of the production system and the 294 recruitments announced since 2015 are key to maintaining the site’s benchmark position as a connected and high-performance production center of light commercial vehicles in Europe..

Tags: Connected Plant Factory of the future Manufacturing