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.
Continental, an automotive supplier that has a deep engineering bench, is making a huge organizational change, one that Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board, explains is necessary because, as he puts it, “The industry is changing at a high pace, so we have to change, too.”
According to Frank Jourdan, president, Chassis & Safety Div., Continental Contitech AG (continental-corporation.com), the high-resolution 3D flash LIDAR (HFL) technology that the company is developing for deployment in automated driving systems in the 2020+ timeframe provides an array of benefits.
While there is a burgeoning proliferation of companies that are in the LiDAR space, each with its own take on utilizing laser pulses to create a precise map of its surroundings for purposes of ADAS or full-blown automation, a Seattle-based company has a distinction that certainly sets it apart from its competitors.