Bikes, Buses and Drones at SEAT
Pilot project to deliver parts to the assembly line at the SEAT plant in Spain. (Image: SEAT)
SEAT, the Barcelona-based brand of Volkswagen Group, is working to transform itself into an electrified mobility company, not only providing electric and electrified vehicles with four wheels, but also those with just two.
But what is more interesting, in some ways, is how it is making its factory in Martorell advanced and more sustainable.
For example, it has been working since 2010 to improve its environmental footprint by emitting less CO2 and volatile compounds, generating less waste, and reducing the amount of energy and water used for production.
So far, there has been a 34% improvement. Yet within the next five years, the target calls for a reduced environmental impact of 50%.
Because assembly plants are large, bicycles are not uncommon. SEAT is taking in-plant bikes seriously by partnering with Mobike, a bike-sharing service. There are 100 bicycles accessible on the plant property.
In addition to which, the SEAT Metropolis:Lab Barcelona team has developed the ByBus service, which allows people to move around the production complex via bus service.
One of the more striking things is a pilot project that uses drones for parts delivery.
The drones are used to transport steering wheels and airbags to the assembly line. According to the company it is able to get parts to the line in 15 minutes with the drones.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.