Volkswagen selects ILOG to enable custom car production
2004-06-02 - Gentilly, France: Enterprise-class software components and services supplier ILOG(r) (NASDAQ: ILOG; Euronext: ILO, ISIN: FR0004042364) today announced that ILOG's optimisation software has been deployed by the Volkswagen (VW) Group of Spain. This implementation allows Volkswagen Group of Spain to offer customers more customised products and optimise production planning.
These new car sequencing and production planning systems have been implemented by leading Spanish system integrator Gedas Iberia in two plants of the VW Group -- the SEAT Martorell and the Volkswagen Navarra locations, which produce 2,000 and 1,200 cars per day, respectively. Using the new system, VW and its Spanish subsidiary, Seat, expect to both fulfill the rising demand for customisable cars and boost sales.
Faster time-to-market requirements and demand for custom products create more complex challenges for car manufacturers. For VW, these challenges drove the need for a more flexible planning system. Using the new Gedas-ILOG solution, VW can optimise assembly line resources to better meet customer and dealer specifications, and eliminate costly excess inventory because, through better planning, the plants only stock the parts needed based on current orders.
Prior to implementing the ILOG-Gedas solution, planning was a manual, labor-intensive process based on an inflexible, custom-built solution. The introduction of ILOG optimisation into the planning system enabled VW to leverage its existing host client server and Oracle(r) server environment, extending the value of its legacy applications. ILOG CPLEX(r) optimisation software has reduced the time it takes to build a schedule from an hour and-a-half to 15 minutes. Overall, only a half-day is now required to generate a production plan for the next day when a full day was necessary prior to using ILOG CPLEX.
In the Volkswagen Navarra facility, in addition to using ILOG CPLEX for planning, Volkswagen relies on ILOG SolverTM for car sequencing, reducing the time needed to create a sequence from six hours when it was done manually to a couple of minutes currently. Time gains related to re-sequencing nicely complement the agility and flexibility acquired through the new planning system. ILOG's real time optimisation solution enables the car maker to meet both planning and sequencing specific time constraints and needs.
The new production planning system also enables the car maker to respond very swiftly to incidents, events and changing needs and to create new plans in real-time. This ensures that any unexpected event -- such as car engine delivery delays due to transporter's strikes, production machine breakdown -- will have a minimal impact on the production. The car maker is able to re-plan very rapidly, taking into account the new constraints, ensuring the highest operational efficiency and maximising resource utilisation.
The Martorell car production site of SEAT is one of the most advanced facilities in Europe due to its logistics system as well as its production process' flexibility. Currently, six different car models are being produced on its assembly lines.