Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have started a collaboration to develop together the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. The two companies have announced a multi-annual global agreement to jointly develop this project.

In the future, Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine data from all machines, plants and systems. This will be done for all 122 Volkswagen Group structures.

The project, Volkswagen points out, will create new perspectives for the optimization of processes in production and will allow significant improvements in plant productivity. Volkswagen Industrial Cloud thus creates the prerequisites essential to achieve productivity objectives in production lines.

In the long term, the company still states, the global supply chain of the Volkswagen Group could also be integrated. With over 30,000 locations of over 1,500 suppliers and partner companies.

Volkswagen is preparing to build its Industrial Cloud as an open industrial platform, based on Amazon Web Services technology and services. In addition, other industrial partners, logistics and sales could use this platform in the future.

Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, production of the future

Through the development of Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, Volkswagen intends to lay the foundations for an effective digitization of production and logistics. The It at the level of production, machinery, equipment and systems, for example for production planning and inventory management, will be standardized and connected in network in all 122 production plants of the Volkswagen Group. To date, there are differences, says the company, between the individual plants.

Volkswagen has chosen the portfolio of AWS services including Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning analytics and computing. Services developed specifically for the production environment and which will be extended to meet the requirements of the automotive industry.

The architecture will be Volkswagen’s new Digital Production Platform (DPP) of the future. All the Group’s plants and companies outside of it will link their system architectures to this platform. This platform will therefore standardise and simplify the exchange of data between systems and plants.

With its Industrial Cloud, Volkswagen intends to open up new possibilities to further improve the efficiency and flexibility of production. The combination of data from all plants will provide new perspectives for process optimization.

This includes more efficient control of material flow, early detection and elimination of bottle packages in supply and process interruptions. The optimized operation of machinery and equipment in all plants.

Open Industrial Platform

In addition, the cloud-based platform, with its simplified data exchange, is a prerequisite for Volkswagen to quickly provide new technologies and innovations to the various locations. For example, intelligent robotics and data analysis functions to analyze and control shop floor processes from one plant to another.

With the cloud-based platform, new applications, such as the It security for shop floor systems, can be climbed directly into all locations around the world. Volkswagen will use AWS’ best innovation practices to become more agile and react more quickly to industry trends.

Volkswagen also plans to create Industrial Cloud as an open platform. The objective is to integrate companies with the entire value flow. And to build a network of industrial partners with a database and information that will bring benefits to all interested parties.

In the long term, the global supply chain of the Volkswagen Group could also be integrated, with over 30,000 locations of over 1,500 suppliers and partner companies. It is also imaginable, Volkswagen says, that this cloud platform is generally accessible to other car manufacturers. This, according to Volkswagen, will create a growing global industrial ecosystem.

The German group is clearly already going beyond the simple hypothesis. In fact, it notes that specific negotiations with important companies interested in migration to Volkswagen Industrial Cloud are already underway.

The cloud for the automotive sector

Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services experts, informs the German group, are already working together at the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. In the medium term, about 220 specialists are assigned to the project. These are located in several It competence centres in Volkswagen, as well as in an Industrial Cloud Innovation Center designed in Berlin. Experts in Dresden, Munich and Wolfsburg will offer further support and work on the project will begin immediately.

The teams, still inform Volkswagen, have already set up 140 integration projects. For example, these include a system for tracing the transfer of goods inside and outside the factory. The company’s goal is to put Industrial Cloud into operation and the first concrete services by the end of 2019.

Volkswagen therefore accelerates more and more towards the digital transformation achieved in the extended and accomplished sense. We have seen (here and here) how the German group is developing with Microsoft a cloud platform for car and car related services. And how Volkswagen is also investing in third-party companies specializing in digital transformation.

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